A Study in Driver Performance: Alternative Human-Vehicle Interface for Brake Actuation 2006-01-1060
This study examines the performance and subject acceptance level of a hand-operated brake actuator. Using a fixed-base vehicle simulator, data for driver reaction time, stopping time, distance, deceleration, customer acceptance and mental workload were collected. Data for three prototype hand-operated brake actuators and traditional foot-operated brake were compared. An additional test, designed to evaluate anthropometrics, sensitivity, and comfort was performed during training. A user preference survey to determine handbrake acceptance was given to subjects after completing the driving test in the simulator.
In certain trials, participants were given the choice of handbrake or footbrake for an unexpected stop condition. When placed into an unexpected braking situation, subjects showed faster brake-application times for operating the hand-operated brake, indicating potential for reduced braking distance. Subject data did not distinguish between the various hand-operated actuator designs. Once familiar with the hand-operated actuator, subjects who were offered a choice tended to choose the hand-operated actuator.
Overall, the data suggest that a hand-operated brake actuator may be capable of reducing driver reaction time, and therefore overall vehicle stopping time/distance. Survey results indicate a user acceptance of the handbrake device. This is an enabler for improving user comfort and convenience.