Evaluating vehicle stability support systems by measuring, analyzing, and modeling driver behavior
Licentiate thesis, 2013

This thesis presents an investigation of near-accident behavior of truck drivers, with and without support from an electronic stability control (ESC) system. A critical scenario, involving both collision avoidance and vehicle stabilization on a low-friction surface, was studied in a driving simulator. The simulator experiment included a novel experimental paradigm, in which several measurements of critical maneuvering were generated per test subject. In this paradigm, ESC was found to provide statistically significant reductions of skidding and control loss, and the drivers were found to employ similar strategies for steering control as when they experienced the same scenario unexpectedly. These findings imply that the system should provide stability improvements also in unexpected maneuvering, something that has not been previously demonstrated for heavy truck ESC. A review of existing driver behavior models that can be used in simulation-based testing of active safety systems (such as, for example, ESC) is also presented. The review showed that, while a wide range of models has been proposed, the generated behavior can sometimes be more similar between models than what the model equations may suggest. Validation of models on actual near-accident behavior of real drivers has so far been very limited. Here, it is shown that an existing model of steering can reproduce the stabilization steering behavior observed in the simulator study. It is also demonstrated how this model can be mathematically linked to vehicle dynamics concepts, increasing its usefulness in applied contexts.

driver behavior

driver models

system evaluation

heavy trucks

driving simulators

active safety

electronic stability control

HC3, Hörsalsvägen 14, Chalmers University of Technology
Opponent: Arne Nåbo, Swedish National Road and Transport Research Institute


Gustav M Markkula

Chalmers, Applied Mechanics, Vehicle Engineering and Autonomous Systems

A Review of Near-Collision Driver Behavior Models

Human Factors,; Vol. 54(2012)p. 1117-1143

Journal article

Driver behaviour in unexpected critical events and in repeated exposures – a comparison

European Transport Research Review,; Vol. 6(2013)p. 51-60

Journal article

Areas of Advance


Subject Categories

Applied Psychology

Vehicle Engineering

Technical report - Department of Applied Mechanics, Chalmers University of Technology, Göteborg, Sweden: 1652-8565

HC3, Hörsalsvägen 14, Chalmers University of Technology

Opponent: Arne Nåbo, Swedish National Road and Transport Research Institute

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