Driver response to unexpected situations when using and in-vehicle information system
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Driver response to unexpected situations when using and in-vehicle information system

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  • Alternative Title:
    Development of human factors guidelines for advanced traveler information systems (ATIS) and commercial vehicle operations (CVO);ITI toolbox;
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    Final Report
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  • Abstract:
    This investigation is one of a series of studies aimed at investigating Advanced Traveler Information Systems (ATIS) and Commercial Vehicle Operations (CVO) applications and their effect on driver behavior and performance. A field experiment was conducted to investigate the benefits and detriments of using an In-Vehicle Information System (IVIS) when the driver is confronted with unexpected situations. The IVIS used in the present study included three in-vehicle subsystems: In-Vehicle Signing and Information Systems (ISIS), which provide redundant roadside information, In-Vehicle Routing and Navigation Systems (IRANS), and In-Vehicle Safety Advisory and Warning Systems (IVSAWS). This research focused on five primary areas: (1) the inclusion of unexpected situations, specifically external events and vehicle status warnings, (2) driver notification of these events and warnings via an IVSAWS, (3) situation awareness of the driver when confronted with unexpected situations, (4) the impact of IVIS display density on driver response to unexpected situations, and (5) older driver use of an IVIS when confronted with unexpected situations. Three research questions were posed and investigated, each involving the use of an IVIS and response to unexpected situations: (1) Do drivers derive a benefit from using an IVIS that has multiple subsystems, when confronted with an unexpected situation? (2) What impact does IVIS information density have on driver's behavior and performance? and (3) What impact does driver age have on system use and measures related to driver behavior and performance? The following conclusions and recommendations were derived from this field study: (1) results indicated a clear benefit for drivers responding to external events and vehicle status warnings when using an IVIS, (2) drivers are capable of safely switching attention from an IVIS to the forward roadway while responding to an external event, (3) older drivers behave more cautiously when using an IVIS and responding to unexpected situations, (4) limitations associated with older driver performance, such as longer response latency and more frequent navigation errors, may be reduced through the use of an optimally designed IVIS, (5) auditory cues for alerts should allow user control of intensity, and (6) drivers should be allowed to select "low urgency" messages and alerting cues from a bank of options that crosses sense modalities.
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