Driver's field of view from large vehicles: phase 3 - report

2005-10-18T16:44:12Z (GMT) by Richard Tait Dean Southall
In response to DETR’s request to investigate ways and means of improving the drivers’ field of view from HGV’s, coaches and buses, nine representative vehicles were evaluated using CAD man-modelling techniques. Evaluation was made against a benchmark field of view requirement which was developed by ICE Ergonomics and based upon the swept path envelopes of large vehicles whilst manoeuvring and on road layout and design considerations. Each vehicle was assessed using eye-points for the 5th %ile female and 95th %ile male driver. Where a driver’s field of view fell significantly short of the benchmark requirement a number of improvement options were investigated. Predominantly, the options selected were those which were most cost-effective and entailed the use of additional and modified wide angle mirrors on both the near-side and off-side of the vehicle. When reversing, driver’s visual coverage of the blind zone to the immediate rear was provided by a CCTV system. To ensure that the CAD modelled solutions did not have a detrimental effect on other aspects of the driving task, and before road trials were conducted on the public highway, a number of user tests were carried out under controlled experimental conditions. Results showed that the minimum radii of curvature, currently stipulated for rear view mirrors, could be reduced without causing significantly greater numbers of driver judgement errors compared with existing mirror specifications. Final verification of the field of view improvement specification proposed was achieved through road trials using drivers in modified large vehicles.