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Technical Paper

Comparing the Driving Safety Benefits of Brain Fitness Training Programs for Older Drivers

This study presents a long-term examination of the effects of two types of perceptual-cognitive brain training programs on senior driver behavior and on-road driving performance. Seniors (70+) engaged in either a Toyota-designed in-vehicle training program based on implicit learning principles or a commercially available computer-based training program developed by Posit Science. Another group served as a no-contact control group; total enrollment was 55 participants. Participants completed a series of four experimental sessions: (1) baseline pre-training, (2) immediate post-training, (3) 6-9 months post-training, and (4) 12-16 months post-training. Experimental metrics taken at each session included measures of vehicle control and driver glance behavior on public roads.
Journal Article

The Naturalistic Study of Distracted Driving: Moving from Research to Practice

2011 - 56th L. Ray Buckendale Lecture Driver distraction has become an important topic in society and the research community. A telltale sign of how driver distraction has impacted society is evidenced by the designation of the term "distracted driving" as Webster's New World® College Dictionary 2009 Word of the Year. Since the release of a key study directed at commercial vehicle drivers, there have been two U.S. Department of Transportation summits to address the topic, in addition to legislation banning texting-while-driving in commercial motor vehicles. Given that "driver distraction" is a construct without a consensus definition, many studies on driver distraction have focused on its fundamental and theoretical underpinning, which is a critical first step in understanding the phenomenon.
Journal Article

Modeling/Analysis of Pedestrian Back-Over Crashes from NHTSA's SCI Database

An analysis of the first 35 back-over crashes reported by NHTSA's Special Crash Investigations unit was undertaken with two objectives: (1) to test a hypothesized classification of backing crashes into types, and (2) to characterize scenario-specific conditions that may drive countermeasure development requirements and/or objective test development requirements. Backing crash cases were sorted by type, and then analyzed in terms of key features. Subsequent modeling of these SCI cases was done using an adaptation of the Driving Reliability and Error Analysis Methodology (DREAM) and Cognitive Reliability and Error Analysis Methodology (CREAM) (similar to previous applications, for instance, by Ljung and Sandin to lane departure crashes [10]), which is felt to provide a useful tool for crash avoidance technology development.
Technical Paper

Quantifying the Pedestrian Detection Benefits of the General Motors Night Vision System

This research compared driver detection performance with low-beam halogen headlamps supplemented by a General Motors production Night Vision system to low-beam halogen headlamps alone. This research was conducted with 18 participants between the ages of 40 and 70 years on a 3.2km (2-mile) section of closed road. Participants encountered seven scenarios, including crossing or standing pedestrians dressed in either white or black clothing. Additional scenarios included pedestrians in a curve and near an oncoming glare vehicle, as well a tire tread. Results indicated that the GM Night Vision system improved drivers' detection distances in nearly all pedestrian scenarios examined.
Technical Paper

Methodological Overview of the Drowsy Driver Warning System Field Operational Test

To address the issue of fatigued truck drivers, the U.S. Department of Transportation sponsored research to develop a Drowsy Driver Warning System. This system has been under development for several years and is at a point where it is ready for a Field Operational Test. The experimental plan calls for 102 drivers, each operating one of 34 instrumented heavy trucks for 16 weeks. Each vehicle is instrumented with video cameras and a variety of sensors to capture driver input/performance. This paper describes the method being used to conduct the study, including an overview of the data collection instrumentation.