A study in the south Swedish town of Eslov (population 30,000) equipped the personal vehicles of 25 people with adaptive speed control. The study assessed, through driver interviews, the opinions of participants regarding the system after two months of driving with the system engaged. During the field trial an active accelerator pedal prevented the vehicles from exceeding the citywide speed limit of 50 km/h, with the system being activated by roadside transponders located on the 10 roadways entering the city. Driver behavior was also assessed through observation while drivers traversed a predetermined test route.
Results from driver interviews following the 2-month evaluation period indicate that drivers had a positive opinion of the system:
- 75 percent of the drivers consider adaptive speed control more positively than they expected before the trial.
- 3 out of 4 drivers also indicated that they are driving more smoothly and at generally lower speeds while the function is operating.
- More than half of the participants found the driving experience more comfortable with the system engaged.
- A majority of the participants wanted the system to be extended to all speed limits within the urban area, not merely the 50 km/h legal limit.
- A vast majority of the participants prefer adaptive speed control to physical speed countermeasures such as humps, chicanes and mini-roundabouts.
The observations of driving behavior after the trial period showed an increased tendency of participating drivers to yield when interacting with other drivers and in critical situations at signalized intersections. As expected due to the limited number of vehicles involved, there were no direct benefits to traffic safety during the field trial. The author states that the results of the study indicate that with widespread application, active speed control could greatly improve traffic safety in built-up areas. This expected improvement is based on reduced vehicle speeds and improvements in driver behavior indicated by driver interviews and observation.
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