Safety Evaluation of Highway Tunnel-Entrance Illuminance Transition Based on Eye-Pupil Changes

  • Zhigang Du
  • Hongliang Wan Wuhan University of Technology
  • Chaozhong Wu Wuhan University of Technology
  • Xiaodong Pan Tongji University
Keywords: Highway tunnel, entrance, illuminance transition, pupil change, visual load,


Utilizing the EMR-8B eye-tracker system, the pupil changes of eight drivers were monitored when they drove through 26 typical highway tunnels. Based on the test results, the driver’s pupil areas and pupil illuminance were found to be in a power function relationship at tunnel entrances. Furthermore, a quantitative relationship between the pupil area and its critical velocity was established, and the ratio of pupil area’s velocity in relation to its critical velocity was used to evaluate the lighting transitions and to establish the ideal curve of pupil illuminance at tunnel entrances. The results demonstrated that the relationship between the pupil illuminance of the tunnel entrance and the driver’s pupil areas conforms to the Stevens law found in experimental psychology; severe pupil illuminance transition within the range of 10 metres of the existing highway tunnel entrances, which results in great visual load, is in urgent need of improvement.

Author Biographies

Chaozhong Wu, Wuhan University of Technology
Ph.D., Professor, Intelligent Transport Systems Research Center
Xiaodong Pan, Tongji University
Ph.D., Transportation School


Wang BX. Analysis of the characteristics of tunnel traffic accidents on Expressway. Traffic and Transportation. 2012;12(1):22-27.

Dai YH, An CJ, Liao ZG, et al. Traffic safety features of expressway tunnel section. High Traffic Information and Safety. 2010;28(2):101-105.

Pachamanov A, Pachamanova D. Optimization of the light distribution of luminaries for tunnel and street lighting. Engineering Optimization. 2008;40(1):47-65.

Kircher K, Ahlstrom C. The impact of tunnel design and lighting on the performance of attentive and visually distracted drivers. Accident Analysis & Prevention. 2012;47:153-161.

Yang Z, Guo ZY. Research on Speed Alteration at Entrance and Exit of Tunnel. Shanghai Highway. 2006;(1):48-51.

Dai YH, Guo ZY. Effect of Spatial Visual Pattern on Driving Behaviour in Expressway Tunnel Section. Journal of Tongji University (Natural Science). 2011;39(9):1307-1312.

Shi LD, Liu HX, Zhao WH. The Influence of Lighting Zone on Vision Information Capturing for Extra-long Tunnel. Highway. 2011;(6):213-218.

Macdonald JSP, Lavie N. Visual perceptual load induces inattentional deafness. Attention, Perception, & Psychophysics. 2011;73(6):1780-1789.

Purves D. Neuroscience. 4th ed. Sinauer Associates; 2008.

Kramer AF. Physiological metrics of mental workload: A review of recent progress. Multiple-task performance. 1991:279-328.

Kun AL, Palinko O, Razumenić I. Exploring the effects of size and luminance of visual targets on the pupillary light reflex. Proceedings of the 4th International Conference on Automotive User Interfaces and Interactive Vehicular Applications. ACM. 2012:183-186.

Palinko O, Kun AL. Exploring the effects of visual cognitive load and illumination on pupil diameter in driving simulators. Proceedings of the Symposium on Eye Tracking Research and Applications. ACM. 2012:413-416.

Cheng ACK, Rao SK, Cheng LL, et al. Assessment of pupil size under different light intensities using the Procyon pupillometer. Journal of Cataract & Refractive Surgery. 2006;32(6):1015-1017.

Ying-kuia HU, Jib W, Yib LI, et al. The change rule of driver’s pupil size under road lighting conditions. Journal of Chongqing University. 2010;8:018.

Tomoki F, Kadoma T, Iwasaki M. Eye movement and driving behavior in curved section passages of urban motorway [CD-ROM]. TRB Annual Meeting; 2005.

Du ZG, Jie L, Pan XD. Driver’s minimum fixation duration’s ascertain and application in freeway tunnels. Journal of Highway and Transportation Research and Development. 2010;26(9):118-120.

How to Cite
Du Z, Wan H, Wu C, Pan X. Safety Evaluation of Highway Tunnel-Entrance Illuminance Transition Based on Eye-Pupil Changes. Promet - Traffic&Transportation. 2014;26(5):363-70. DOI: 10.7307/ptt.v26i5.1321