ADAPTIVE EYES - DRIVER DISTRACTION AND INATTENTION PREVENTION THROUGH ADVANCED DRIVER ASSISTANCE SYSTEMS AND BEHAVIOUR-BASED SAFETY

Technology pervades our daily living, and is increasingly integrated into the vehicle – directly affecting driving. On the one hand technology such as cell phones provoke driver distraction and inattention, whereas, on the other hand, Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) support the driver in the driving task. The question is, can a driver successfully adapt to the ever growing technological advancements? Thus, this thesis aimed at improving safe driver behaviour by understanding the underlying psychological mechanisms that influence behavioural change. Previous research on ADAS and human attention was reviewed in the context of driver behavioural adaptation. Empirical data from multiple data sources such as driving performance data, visual behaviour data, video footage, and subjective data were analyzed to evaluate two ADAS (a brake-capacity forward collision warning system, B-FCW, and a Visual Distraction Alert System, VDA-System). Results from a field operational test (EuroFOT) showed that brake-capacity forward collision warnings lead to immediate attention allocation toward the roadway and drivers hit the brake, yet change their initial response later on by directing their eyes toward the warning source in the instrument cluster. A similar phenomenon of drivers changing initial behaviour was found in a driving simulator study assessing a Visual Distraction Alert System. Analysis showed that a Visual Distraction Alert System successfully assists drivers in redirecting attention to the relevant aspects of the driving task and significantly improves driving performance. The effects are discussed with regard to behavioural adaptation, calibration and system acceptance. Based on these findings a novel assessment for human-machine-interaction (HMI) of ADAS was introduced. Based on the contribution of this thesis and previous best-practices, a holistic safety management model on accident prevention strategies (before, during and after driving) was developed. The DO-IT BEST Feedback Model is a comprehensive feedback strategy including driver feedback at various time scales and therefore is expected to provide an added benefit for distraction and inattention prevention. The central contributions of this work are to advance research in the field of traffic psychology in the context of attention allocation strategies, and to improve the ability to design future safety systems with the human factor in focus. The thesis consists of the introduction of the conducted research, six publications in full text and a comprehensive conclusion of the publications. In brief this thesis intends to improve safe driver behaviour by understanding the underlying psychological mechanisms that influence behavioral change, thereby resulting in more attention allocation to the forward roadway, and improved vehicle control.

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