• February 23rd, 2021

Automated vehicles (AVs) promise to revolutionize driving safety. Driver models can aid in achieving this promise by providing a tool for designers to ensure safe interactions between human drivers and AVs. In this project, we performed a literature review to identify important factors for AV takeover safety and promising models to capture these factors. We also conducted a driving simulation experiment to address a research gap in silent automation failures. Finally, we developed a series of models to predict driver decision-making, braking, and steering responses using crash/near-crash data from the SHRP 2 naturalistic driving study and a driving simulation experiment. The analyses highlight the importance of visual parameters (in particular, visual looming) in driver responses and interactions with AVs. The modeling analysis suggested that models based on visual looming captured driver responses better than traditional baseline reaction time and closed-loop models. Further, the analysis of SHRP 2 data showed that gaze eccentricity of the last glance plays a critical role in driver decision-making. With further development, including the integration of important factors in takeover performance identified in the literature review and refinement of the role of gaze eccentricity, these models could be a valuable tool for AV software engineers.

Read the full study here.