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AUTONAV/DOT Project: Baseline Measurement System for Evaluation of Roadway Departure Warning System



Sandor S. Szabo, Karl Murphy, Maris Juberts


This report describes a set of performance metrics and a performance measurement system developed for the evaluation of roadway departure warning systems. The work is part of an effort by the Department of Transportation's National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA) to develop quantitative measures of performance for the evaluation of highway safety systems. The approach for quantitative evaluation rests on establishing a baseline measurement of roadway departure that is of higher accuracy than the warning system under test. The output of the warning system is then compared to the baseline measurement to produce a quantitative measure of performance. The baseline measurement system is installed on a vehicle with the warning system. The baseline system achieves high accuracy by aiming a calibrated camera onto an area of the road adjacent to the vehicle. As the vehicle is driven and roadway departure maneuvers are performed, the output of the video camera, the vehicles position (from a global positioning system and inertial sensors), and the output of the warning system are synchronized and digitally recorded. After a vehicle run is complete, a suite of software is used to automatically analyze the baseline video data to determine roadway departure. Since the video and other data remain available after the vehicle run, an operator (to establish the credibility of the baseline measurement) can verify a roadway departure. Also, the data can be analyzed to provide insight into the cause of a warning system failure (e.g., insufficient roadway markings, high lateral velocity, etc.). The time of a departure is compared with the warning system output to determine the reliability, failure and false alarm rates of the warning system.
NIST Interagency/Internal Report (NISTIR) - 6300
Report Number


measures of performance, roadway departure, run-off-road


Szabo, S. , Murphy, K. and Juberts, M. (1999), AUTONAV/DOT Project: Baseline Measurement System for Evaluation of Roadway Departure Warning System, NIST Interagency/Internal Report (NISTIR), National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, MD, [online], (Accessed May 20, 2024)


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Created March 1, 1999, Updated November 18, 2008