The interplay of personality traits with drivers’ gap acceptance
Authors: Ann-Christin Hensch, Matthias Beggiato, Sarah Mandl, Anja Strobel, Josef Krems
Abstract: To support road safety and user acceptance, the interaction capabilities of automated vehicles (AVs) need to be intuitive and transparent. Therefore, established interaction capabilities of manual drivers need to be implemented in AVs. In manual driving, accepted time gaps (gap acceptance, GA) are frequently applied to coordinate interactions between traffic participants. Various driver characteristics, such as age, were shown to influence GA. However, little research considered the influence of driver personality traits on GA. Therefore, the current online study investigated the effect of drivers’ sensation seeking and big five personality traits (i.e., agreeableness, extraversion, conscientiousness, openness, and neuroticism) on GA. The applied video material displayed an intersection scenario with approaching interaction partners encountering from the left of the drivers’ perspective. A total of 121 participants contributed to the study. The findings showed a significant effect for participants’ sensation seeking on GA. Participants scoring higher in sensation seeking accepted smaller time gaps resulting in riskier decisions for the turning maneuvers than participants scoring lower in sensation seeking. Moreover, the results revealed a significant difference in GA regarding participants’ agreeableness. Participants scoring higher in agreeableness indicated larger time gaps to initiate turning maneuvers (i.e., more cooperative interactions) than participants scoring lower in agreeableness. There was no effect for extraversion, conscientiousness, openness, and neuroticism on GA. To support the user acceptance of automated driving functions, differences in driving style preferences related to personal characteristics should be considered in AVs (e.g., by offering selectable driving style profiles).
Keywords: automated driving, implicit communication, gap acceptance, driving styles, sensation seeking, big five personality traits
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