Hokkaido University Research Profiles

Social Infrastructure

A Study on Pro-beam Roadway Lighting in Urban Areas

To prevent night-time accidents involving pedestrians at intersections in urban areas, we are developing a Pro-beam road lighting system that works with headlights to help drivers quickly detect pedestrians crossing the street. Pro-beam is a lighting system whereby the light distribution of the lamps is directed in the travelling direction of the vehicles.

Content of research

We have summarized the requirements and functions of pro-beam road lighting to design specific light distribution of Pro-beam lighting to increase the visibility of pedestrians crossing the road through optical simulation and visibility evaluation experiments. Using the prototype light fixture, we have evaluated drivers’ visibility of pedestrians who are standing still and measured the time until drivers detect pedestrians at intersections using video images. As a result, we have confirmed that the Pro-beam lighting system provides higher visibility of the entire road space, including the oncoming lane, and helps drivers quickly detect pedestrians crossing the road not only from the right but also from the left. We are now working on the design and development of a light fixture for practical use as a road light by developing the prototype light fixture.

Potential for social implementation

  • ・There are many fatal traffic accidents involving pedestrians crossing the street from the right side of the driver’s traveling direction. The Pro-beam system can sufficiently illuminate pedestrians crossing from the right near the center line, greatly contributing to the reduction of intersection accidents involving pedestrians.

Appealing points to industry and local governments

The entire road section in front of the vehicle becomes bright and the field of view is expanded, helping the camera sensor mounted on the autonomous car fulfill its functions. Even at night, when there are many types of lights, especially in urban areas, this system ensures the effectiveness of the camera sensor. It is expected that the Pro-beam system will greatly support safe driving of sensor-mounted vehicles at night.