Driver Performance Research Regarding Systems for Use While Backing 2006-01-1982
General Motors has pursued research to develop systems intended to assist drivers in recognizing people or objects behind them when they are backing, and this paper summarizes results from this research. We are currently working with ultrasonic rear parking assist systems, rear radar backing warning systems, and rear camera systems, which are briefly described and their utility for assisting drivers in recognizing people or objects behind them discussed. Our research on driver performance with a prototype long range backing warning system found that audible and visual warning combinations may not be effective in warning distracted drivers about unexpected objects. Driver expectancy is thought to play a significant role in this result. However, further research found drivers were more likely to notice an unexpected obstacle behind their vehicle with a prototype rear view video camera system compared to ultrasonic rear parking assist and trials that had no system. These results suggest that rear view video camera systems may provide limited benefit in some backing scenarios. While parking assist systems may assist drivers with parking tasks, they are not designed to be warning systems and may not effectively warn drivers of unexpected obstacles. We continue to pursue work with rear view video camera systems including integration with object detection sensors. We are also investigating automatic vehicle braking and haptic warning strategies for long range backing warning systems.