Counterfactual simulations applied to SHRP2 crashes: The effect of driver behavior models on safety benefit estimations of intelligent safety systems
Artikel i vetenskaplig tidskrift, 2017

As the development and deployment of in-vehicle intelligent safety systems (ISS) for crash avoidance and mitigation have rapidly increased in the last decades, the need to evaluate their prospective safety benefits before introduction has never been higher. Counterfactual simulations using relevant mathematical models (for vehicle dynamics, sensors, the environment, ISS algorithms, and models of driver behavior) have been identified as having high potential. However, although most of these models are relatively mature, models of driver behavior in the critical seconds before a crash are still relatively immature. There are also large conceptual differences between different driver models. The objective of this paper is, firstly, to demonstrate the importance of the choice of driver model when counterfactual simulations are used to evaluate two ISS: Forward collision warning (FCW), and autonomous emergency braking (AEB). Secondly, the paper demonstrates how counterfactual simulations can be used to perform sensitivity analyses on parameter settings, both for driver behavior and ISS algorithms. Finally, the paper evaluates the effect of the choice of glance distribution in the driver behavior model on the safety benefit estimation. The paper uses pre-crash kinematics and driver behavior from 34 rear-end crashes from the SHRP2 naturalistic driving study for the demonstrations. The results for FCW show a large difference in the percent of avoided crashes between conceptually different models of driver behavior, while differences were small for conceptually similar models. As expected, the choice of model of driver behavior did not affect AEB benefit much. Based on our results, researchers and others who aim to evaluate ISS with the driver in the loop through counterfactual simulations should be sure to make deliberate and well-grounded choices of driver models: the choice of model matters.

Driver behavior model

Forward collision warning (FCW)

Safety benefit evaluation

Autonomous emergency braking (AEB)

Counterfactual simulations


Jonas Bärgman

Chalmers, Tillämpad mekanik, Fordonssäkerhet

Christian-Nils Åkerberg Boda

Chalmers, Tillämpad mekanik, Fordonssäkerhet

Marco Dozza

Chalmers, Tillämpad mekanik, Fordonssäkerhet

Accident Analysis and Prevention

0001-4575 (ISSN)

Vol. 102 165-180


Annan maskinteknik


Robotteknik och automation


Hållbar utveckling

Innovation och entreprenörskap







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