Adverse weather conditions, particularly those with low visibility, are critical to the driving tasks. However, the direct relationship between visibility distances and traffic flow/roadway safety is uncertain due to the limitation of visibility data availability. The recent growth of deployment of Road Weather Information Systems (RWIS) makes segment-specific visibility information available which can be integrated with other Intelligent Transportation System, such as automated warning system and variable speed limit, to improve mobility and safety. Before applying the RWIS visibility measurements in traffic study and operations, it is critical to validate the data. Therefore, an attempt was made in the paper to examine the validity and viability of RWIS visibility data by comparing visibility measurements among RWIS, airport weather stations, and weather information recorded by police in crash reports, based on Ohio data. The results indicated that RWIS visibility measurements were significantly different from airport visibility data in Ohio, but no conclusion regarding the reliability of RWIS visibility could be drawn in the consideration of no verified ground truth in the comparisons. It was suggested that more objective methods are needed to validate the RWIS visibility measurements, such as continuous in-field measurements associated with various weather events using calibrated visibility sensors.
In this paper, we propose a method that allows faster and more accurate detection of traffic lights by a vision sensor during driving, DGPS is used to obtain physical location of a traffic light, extract from the image information of the vision sensor only the traffic light area at this location and ascertain if the sign is in operation and determine its form. This method can solve the problem in existing research where low visibility at night or reflection under bright light makes it difficult to recognize the form of traffic light, thus making driving unstable. We compared our success rate of traffic light recognition in day and night road environments. Compared to previous researches, it showed similar performance during the day but 50% improvement at night.