ACTIVE SAFETY EXPERIMENTS WITH COMMON DRIVERS FOR THE SPECIFICATION OF ACTIVE SAFETY SYSTEMS 2001-06-0004
The design of active safety systems capable of helping avoiding a crash or reducing the collision severity requires data on how drivers behave in accident situations. These systems must be triggered when drivers actually need assistance. They must enhance insufficient reactions and limit unsuitable ones without being in conflict with drivers’ natural behavior.
The Laboratory of Accidentology, Biomechanics and human behavior, PSA Peugeot Citroën - Renault (LAB), has conducted experiments on driving simulators and on test tracks to analyze driver’s behavior in emergency situations. Two of these experiments concern front-to-rear accident situations, each one involving more than 100 representative common drivers. The first study was carried out on a simulator with different accident scenarios : an adverse vehicle stopped or driving slowly at the top of a hill, a vehicle coming into the driver’s lane from a parking area, or a vehicle driving in front of the subject then suddenly braking. The second study was carried out on a test track. The subjects were following a vehicle pulling a trailer that suddenly broke away and strongly braked. In both studies, the drivers’ actions on the controls and the vehicle dynamics were recorded along with videos from driver’s hands, feet and face and from the scene.
The results show the benefit of such studies for the specification of active safety systems. These experiments revealed the inefficiency of braking actions of common drivers in emergency situations. The results provided a basis for the determination of triggering criteria of emergency brake assist and enabled to give recommendations on control strategies. Moreover, these experiments pointed out the benefit of emergency brake assist in terms of collision avoidance rate and crash speed reduction.