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Preliminary study of behavioral and safety effects of driver dependence on a warning system in a driving simulator

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2 Author(s)
Yamada, K. ; Toyota Central R&D Labs. Inc., Aichi ; Kuchar, J.K.

Warning systems are being developed to improve traffic safety using visual, auditory, and/or tactile displays by informing drivers of the existence of a threat in the roadway. Behavioral and safety effects of driver dependence on such a warning system, especially when the warning system is unreliable, were investigated in a driving-simulator study. Warning-system accuracy was defined in terms of miss rate (MR) and positive predictive value (PPV) (PPV is the fraction of warnings that were correct detections). First, driver behavior and performance were measured across four warning-system accuracy conditions. Second, the authors estimated the probability of collision in each accuracy condition to measure the overall system effectiveness in terms of safety benefit. Combining these results, a method was proposed to evaluate the degree of driver dependence on a warning system and its effect on safety. One major result of the experiment was that the mean driving speed decreased as the missed detection rate increased, demonstrating a decrease in driver's reliance on warnings when the system was less effective in detecting threats. Second, both the acceleration-pedal and brake-pedal reaction times increased as the PPV of the warning system decreased, demonstrating a decrease in driver compliance with warnings when the system became more prone to false alarms. A key implication of the work is that performance is not necessarily directly correlated to warning-system quality or trends in subjective ratings, highlighting the importance of objective evaluation. Practical applications of the work include design and analysis of in-vehicle warning systems

Published in:

Systems, Man and Cybernetics, Part A: Systems and Humans, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:36 ,  Issue: 3 )