On October 14th 2004, the Dutch Ministry of Transport unveiled ‘The Assisted Driver’ project to the outside world for the first time by means of virtual reality. The presentation comprised a short film about Advanced Driver Assistance (ADA) systems and a simulator that allowed the three systems (Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC), Lane Departure Warning (LDW) and Lane Keep Assist (LKA)). The main aims of the virtual reality presentation were to place ADA systems on the agenda and simplify communication about this topic. The main goals of this project were to provide a peek into the future of ADA systems and evaluate the impact on traffic flow in terms of safety, throughput and environment as well as driver behavior and acceptance.
Subsequent to the rollout of this project several Assisted Driver clinics were conducted for participants to experience the technologies in full field operational tests. It was the first time that a combination of these systems could be tested. Overall, the participants responded positively to the tested systems.
All of them indicated that the systems help increase safety and comfort levels. The results of the study were published in a December 2006 report.
Evaluation objectives included:
- Perform an objective analysis of the effect of driving with ACC and LDW (in mixed traffic on Dutch roads) on individual driving behavior and ultimately the impact on traffic flow in terms of safety, throughput and environment
- Evaluate driver behavior and acceptance by means of questionnaires and focus groups
This study evaluated multiple aspects of driving behaviors and the following lessons learned show a sampling of the improved driver behaviors that resulted after 3 months of using ACC and LDW including:
- Increased concentration on driving
- Better anticipation of driver actions
- More alert to potential hazards
- Greater awareness of driving environment
Additionally, after three months of using ACC and LDW:
- More participants felt ACC was better than LDW in most aspects (useful, enjoyable, effective)
- More participants felt ACC decreases the chances for incidents more than LDW
- Participants felt there was a safety increasing effect for both LDW as ACC but assumed it to be larger for ACC
- More participants felt getting used to driving with ACC takes longer than with LDW
- All participants stated that they would choose ACC over LDW
This report, finalized in December 2006, also provides additional details on these vehicle safety systems. These findings along with the lessons learned information provide a valuable resource to those considering the implementation of advanced technology for vehicle safety.
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