Timing of early warning stages in a multi stage collision warning system: Drivers' evaluation depending on situational influences
Journal article, 2016
By means of car2x communication technologies (car2x) driver warnings can be presented to drivers quite early. However, due to their early timing they could be misunderstood by drivers, distract or even disturb them. These problems arise if, at the moment of the warning, the safety-critical situation is not yet perceivable or critical. In order to examine, when drivers want to receive early warnings as a function of the situation criticality, a driving simulator study was conducted using the two early warning stages of a multi stage collision warning system (first stage: informing the driver; second stage: prewarning the driver). The optimum timing to activate these two early warning stages was derived by examining the drivers' evaluation of these timings concerning their appropriateness and usefulness. As situational variation, drivers traveling at about 100 km/h were confronted with slow moving traffic either driving at 25 km/h or 50 km/h at the end of a rural road. In total, 24 participants were tested in a within-subjects design (12 female, 12 male; M = 26.6 years, SD = 7.2 years). For both stages, drivers preferred an earlier timing when approaching slow moving traffic traveling at 25 km/h (first stage: 447 m, second stage: 249 m ahead of the lead vehicle) compared to 50 km/h (first stage: 338 m, second stage: 186 m ahead of the lead vehicle). The drivers' usefulness rating also varied with the timing, spanning a range of 8 s for driver-accepted timing variations and showed correspondence to the drivers' appropriateness ratings. Based on these results and those of a previous study, a timing function for each of the two early warning stages depending on the speed difference between the safety-critical object and the host vehicle is presented. Indirectly, similar adaptations are already implemented in current collision warning systems, which use the time-to-collision to give drivers acute warnings in a later stage, when an immediate reaction of the driver may still prevent a collision. However, this study showed that drivers also favor this kind of adaptation for earlier warning stages (information and prewarning). Thus, adapting the timing according to the drivers' preferences will contribute to a better acceptance of these collision warning systems.
Early warning stages' timing
Multi stage collision warning system