Reducing School Bus/Light-Vehicle Conflicts Through Connected Vehicle Communications
Palframan, Kelly Donoghue
Alden, Andrew S.
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This project aimed to develop and test a concept for improving the safety of school bus transportation using connected vehicle technology. The project consisted of three key steps that led to a final road study: 1) conducting focus groups with light vehicle drivers and school bus drivers to determine what type of in-vehicle school-bus related information they would like to receive/send; 2) developing a concept of operations to accommodate driver desires; and 3) evaluating the effect of an in-vehicle message that warns of a stopped school bus ahead. In the road study, researchers evaluated each driver’s response through analysis of vehicle kinematics (speed, longitudinal acceleration, and jerk) when a bus was staged either beyond a “School Bus Stop Ahead” roadside sign or beyond the point at which a similar in-vehicle message was presented. Driver responses for each condition were compared to a baseline condition that described their driving behavior when no bus was present on the roadway. The results showed a nearly immediate response to in-vehicle messages, whereas the corresponding roadside sign messages provided little evidence of modifying driver behavior prior to visually observing a stopped school bus in the roadway.