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Technical Paper

Safety and Performance Benefits Associated with the Use of a Spotter Mirror: Impact on Driver Lane-Change Planning and Execution

Research was conducted to assess driver acceptance and performance associated with a spotter mirror feature intended to reduce the incidence of lane-change conflicts by enhancing drivers' ability to detect vehicles in their side blind zone. The spotter mirror consisted of an integrated spherical convex blind zone mirror inset within a larger planar mirror. The spotter mirror's field-of-view was designed to target the vehicle's side blind zone area and to help drivers quickly detect the presence or absence of a vehicle in the blind zone. The study captured normative lane-change behavior during an extended drive on public roadways, with and without access to the spotter mirror system, for a sample of familiar and unfamiliar supplemental mirror users. In order to capture more naturalistic lane-change behavior, drivers were informed that the purpose of the study was to evaluate the adequacy of existing road signs for navigating to a destination.
Journal Article

Driver Acceptance and Use of a Speed Limit and Curve Advisor

This research examined driver acceptance and behavior associated with Speed Limit and Curve Advisor systems, including influences on speed choice. Drivers experienced messages from an emulated Speed Limit and Curve Advisor system during a 2-hour public road drive. Driver tolerance for system errors and message conflicts was also studied by manipulating the accuracy of the information provided by the system. Messages were presented using either a Head-Up Display or on an in-dash Driver Information Center. Results indicate that drivers liked having speed limit information continuously available to them while driving, but the information provided by the Speed Limit Advisor did not significantly influence or alter drivers' speed choice or deceleration profiles in comparison to driving without the system.
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.
Journal Article

Issues Related to the Use and Design of a Backing Rear Cross Traffic Alert System

Alternative implementations of a Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA) system intended to actively notify drivers of the presence of rear cross-path traffic when backing were evaluated in naturalistic settings. The feature is one of several emerging technologies designed to assist drivers when backing - in this case, enhancing drivers' awareness of traffic approaching from the rear. The study allowed performance under a range of RCTA system driver interface implementations to be contrasted with conventional and wide Field of View (FOV) Rear Vision systems. Evaluations were conducted using a sample of 70 drivers under naturalistic settings and environments with repeated exposures to backing tasks. The study also made use of a staged conflict situation with a confederate vehicle in order to more precisely quantify driver behavior and system usage across drivers under controlled conflict situations.