EVALUATION OF DRIVER VISIBILITY FROM MOBILE LIDAR DATA AND WEATHER CONDITIONS
Keywords: Visibility, Mobile LiDAR, Climatology, Road Safety
Abstract. Visibility of drivers is crucial to ensure road safety. Visibility is influenced by two main factors, the geometry of the road and the weather present therein. The present work depicts an approach for automatic visibility evaluation using mobile LiDAR data and climate information provided from weather stations located in the neighbourhood of the road. The methodology is based on a ray-tracing algorithm to detect occlusions from point clouds with the purpose of identifying the visibility area from each driver position. The resulting data are normalized with the climate information to provide a polyline with an accurate area of visibility. Visibility ranges from 25 m (heavy fog) to more than 10,000 m (clean atmosphere). Values over 250 m are not taken into account for road safety purposes, since this value corresponds to the maximum braking distance of a vehicle. Two case studies are evaluated an urban road in the city of Vigo (Spain) and an inter-urban road between the city of Ourense and the village of Castro Caldelas (Spain). In both cases, data from the Galician Weather Agency (Meteogalicia) are used. The algorithm shows promising results allowing the detection of particularly dangerous areas from the viewpoint of driver visibility. The mountain road between Ourense and Castro Caldelas, with great presence of slopes and sharp curves, shows special interest for this type of application. In this case, poor visibility can especially contribute to the run over of pedestrians or cyclists traveling on the road shoulders.