An exploration into the dependency of speed and distraction of vehicle drivers on a Handling Course at Bosch Boxberg Proving Ground
Authors: Sumona Sen, Sarah Kunz, Tobias Rusch, Hans Juergen Buxbaum
Abstract: Driving a car is a complex activity. In addition to physical abilities, cognitive and perceptive abilities play a major role. Investigating this is already the subject of a large number of studies. In addition to the typical safety-relevant aspects and human behaviour in critical situations, distraction in particular is becoming more important in recent studies. Distractions that affect the driver from the outside should also be considered. This study, in cooperation with the Bosch company, looks at how a distraction on a handling course track affects the speed of the drivers at the proving ground. The Bosch company operates a proving ground in Boxberg, Germany, for testing active driving safety. The focus of this study is a handling course, for tests in dynamic and curvy situations.2 Objectives In the regular course scenario, energy absorber mats have been installed for safety reasons. During a reconstruction phase, the mats were temporarily deinstalled. After that, an increased number of accidents was noticed. It is assumed, that the mats’ absence may have had an influence on the speed and the behaviour of the drivers.The following research questions are raised on the basis of these aspects: 1. Do the mats have an influence on the occurrence of accidents?2. Do the absence of the mats distract the driver while driving? 3. Do the absence of the mats has an influence on the speed driven in this area?In order to answer these research questions, the following hypotheses need to be investigated: H1: The mats help to focus the driver's attention.H2: The driver is consciously aware of the mats.H3: The speed in this area is higher in the absence of mats.H4: There is a difference in the driving speed between drivers who fixate the mats and those who do not register them. 3 Methods and experimental design A case-control study is developed as the study design so the effects can be revealed by comparison. In order to avoid bias, such as selection effects or similar, the group allocation of the drivers is randomised.The experiment thus consists of two different groups (15 test persons per group) who each drive the route individually; group 1 with mats installed; group 2 without mats. The car is equipped with a velocity tracking, so that the speed is recorded at any time. During the drive, each test person in both groups wears eye-tracking glasses with a recorder. The whole tracked data is synchronized with GPS and time stamp. Each test person drives the route 2 times. 4 Results The research questions are answered by the research methods adapted to the hypotheses. A moderately strong distraction and speed increasing was detected in the absence of the energy absorber mats. This leads to the conclusion that the energy absorber mats have an influence on the accident occurrence in a positive way. The statistical analyses are presented in the full paper.
Keywords: Human System Design, Human Performance, Human Error
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