TTI’s Visibility Research Laboratory is located on the first floor of TTI’s new State Headquarters and Research Building. “TTI has a long history of nighttime visibility research with field equipment and human factors studies, but this lab provides a whole new way to conduct and develop standardized testing,” says Carlson, head of TTI’s Operations and Design Division. “We now have better control of the variables so we can develop new test methods and standards.”
The lab is the first of its kind in a university setting. Previously, researchers stayed up most of the night to conduct visibility studies at the Texas A&M University Riverside Campus while relying on Texas weather to cooperate. Now, with the 125-foot-long dark tunnel facility, those same researchers can run night simulations under controlled conditions at any time during the day. An adjacent conference room provides space for presentations, where sponsors and visitors can examine samples of reflective materials with microscopes.