Human Factors Evaluation of an In-Vehicle Active Traffic and Demand Management (ATDM) System
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This research study focused on the development and subsequent evaluation of an in-vehicle Active Traffic and Demand Management (ATDM) system deployed on Interstate 66 in Northern Virginia. The ATDM elements inside the vehicle allowed drivers to remain consistently aware of traffic conditions and roadway requirements even if external signage was inaccessible. Forty participants were accompanied by a member of the research team and experienced the following in-vehicle device (IVD) features: 1) dynamic speed limits, 2) dynamic lane use/shoulder control, 3) High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) restrictions, and 4) variable message signs (VMS). This ATDM system was equipped with auditory and visual alerts to notify the driver when relevant information was updated. The research questions addressed distraction, desirability, and driver behavior associated with the system. Participant data was collected from the instrumented vehicle, various surveys, and researcher observation. Several key findings were uncovered related to each research category: 1) the IVD would not be classified as a distraction according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Association (NHTSA) distraction guidelines, 2) 73% of participants would want the in-vehicle technology in their next vehicle, and 3) the speed limit alert motivated participants to alter their speed (based on both survey results and actual participant speed data).