An Examination of Driver Performance Under Reduced Visibility Conditions When Using An In-Vehicle Signing Information System (ISIS)
Collins, Dennis James
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Recent technological innovations and the need for increased safety on the world's roads have led to the introduction of In- Vehicle Information Systems (IVIS). These systems will provide navigation and advisory information to drivers while they are driving. One aspect of these systems, In-vehicle Signing Information Systems (ISIS), would provide the warning, regulatory, and advisory information that is currently found on road signs. These systems may be of particular benefit when external elements such as rain, snow, or night driving reduce or eliminate the opportunity for drivers to detect road signs. This study attempts to determine what benefits, if any, are realized by drivers using this system. Fifty-eight drivers operated an instrumented Oldsmobile Aurora under eight conditions. The eight conditions consisted of a daylight-clear weather-ISIS condition, a daylight-clear weather-No ISIS condition, a daylight-rain-ISIS condition, a daylight-rain-No ISIS condition, a night-clear weather-ISIS condition, a night-clear weather-No ISIS condition, a night-rain-ISIS condition, and a night-rain-No ISIS condition. Younger drivers (18-30 years old) and older drivers (65 years or older) took part in this study. Three measures of driver performance were collected along with subjective preference data. Each measure was evaluated in order to determine what impact, if any, weather, time of day, age, and ISIS use had on performance. Subjective data was evaluated to determine driver preference and acceptance of the ISIS display. The results indicated that use of the ISIS display led to reduced speeds and greater reaction distances for all drivers. Evidence was found that seems to indicate that older drivers may receive a greater benefit in complex, unfamiliar, or low visibility situations. Evidence was also found that indicates that all drivers may receive a greater benefit at night for the complex or unfamiliar situations. Subjectively, the majority of the drivers indicated that the ISIS display made them more aware of road sign information.
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