A Lane-Change Gap Acceptance Scenario Developed for Heavy Vehicle Active Safety Assessment: A Driving Simulator Study

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Peter Nilsson
Leo Laine

The aims of this study were to develop a lane-change scenario for driving simulators in order to analyse the characteristics of lane-change manoeuvres performed with heavy vehicles. The scenario was set up based on information from lane-change accidents and on-road lane-change observations. The gap acceptance scenario consisted of two consecutive lane changes were the intention was to study truck drivers’ accepted gap between two vehicles in the adjacent right lane, at the initiation of each lane change. An experiment was conducted with 18 truck drivers in a full-motion driving simulator with implemented high fidelity models of an 80tonnes and 32m long vehicle combination and a 40tonnes and 22m tractor semi-trailer. The results showed no statistically significant difference in the accepted gaps to the lead and lag vehicles in the target lane. For both heavy vehicles, the overall average lead gap and lag gap was estimated to 0.85s and 0.83s respectively, at the average velocity of 17.3m/s. The difference in lane-change duration for the two vehicles was statistically significant and estimated to an average of 8.7s for the tractor semi-trailer, and 10.5s for the A-double. The conclusion from the present study is that the drivers performed the lane changes equally well with the tractor semi-trailer and the long vehicle combination. There were no major differences between the manoeuvres other than the duration times, which can be justified by the difference in vehicle length. Future studies are able to use this scenario as a non-critical reference to more critical events in the development and assessment of active safety functionality and automated driving systems.

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