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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

2011-04-12
2011-01-0595
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.
Technical Paper

Factors Moderating the Effectiveness of Rear Vision Systems: What Performance-Shaping Factors Contribute to Drivers' Detection and Response to Unexpected In-Path Obstacles When Backing?

2011-04-12
2011-01-0549
General Motors (GM) and the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute (VTTI) have partnered to conduct a series of studies characterizing the use and effectiveness of technologies designed to assist drivers while backing. A major emphasis of this research has been on Rear Vision Camera (RVC) systems that provide drivers with an enhanced view of the area behind the vehicle. RVC systems are intended to aid in positioning the vehicle when executing low-speed parking and backing-related tasks and are not necessarily well suited for detecting unexpected in-path obstacles (particularly if the RVC image is not coupled with object detection alerts issued to the driver).
Journal Article

Driver Acceptance and Use of a Speed Limit and Curve Advisor

2011-04-12
2011-01-0550
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

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

2011-04-12
2011-01-0578
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.
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