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Cooperative adaptive cruise control human factors study: experiment 1--workload, distraction, arousal, and trust (report) publication number: FHWA-HRT-16-056.

Cooperative adaptive cruise control (CACC) is an automated vehicle application that aims to complement the vehicle operator's capabilities without degrading alertness or attention. Researchers at FHWA recently set out to answer a series of questions related to use of this technology.

Can CACC reduce the driver's workload relative to manual gap control (that is, maintaining the distance between a vehicle and the one in front of it)? Can CACC increase the probability of driver distraction relative to manual gap control? Can CACC result in reduced driver arousal relative to manual gap control? Does CACC increase the driver's ability to avoid a crash when exposed to an extreme braking event? And, do drivers trust the CACC system?

This report presents experimental results of a human factors examination of the effects of CACC on driver performance in a variety of situations. Researchers conducted the experiment using a driving simulator, placing subject drivers into scenarios in which they were embedded in platoons of CACC-equipped vehicles.

A total of 49 licensed drivers were tested in FHWA's Highway Driving Simulator, with 12 or 13 participants in each of 4 groups. All of the groups drove in the third position in a five-vehicle platoon in which all of the other vehicles were equipped with simulated CACC. The groups differed as to whether the participant vehicle was equipped with CACC and the type of event at the end of the drive that disturbed the longitudinal spacing of the platoon.

As assessed by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration Task Load Index, the CACC system did reduce perceived driver workload relative to driving without cruise control. CACC users appeared slightly more likely to engage in diversionary activities (for example, listening to the car radio) than control group drivers. CACC yielded a substantial and statistically reliable reduction in the probability of a crash. No evidence suggested that use of CACC leads to lower levels of driver arousal than manual gap control. Further, the study revealed that participants showed a great deal of trust in the CACC system.

This document is available to download at www.fhwa.dot.gov/ publications/research/safety16056/index.cfm.

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Title Annotation:Communication Product Updates
Publication:Public Roads
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jul 1, 2017
Words:354
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Next Article:Intersection conflict warning system human factors: final report (Report) publication number: FHWA-HRT-16-061.
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