Continuous versus intermittent presentation of visual eco-driving advice

Publisher's full text

Automatic eco-driving advice has the potential to improve fuel economy and reduce emissions. However, providing eco-driving information to the driver will inevitably draw attention away from the driving task. The objective of this research is to investigate the effects of intermittent versus continuous visual eco-driving information on glance behaviour in an attempt to find the best approach to display eco-driving information from a traffic safety perspective.

Twenty-eight truck drivers drove on a village road, a rural road and a motorway section in an advanced moving base truck simulator. A number of situations with relevance for eco-driving, such as traffic lights, crests, changes in posted speed limits, and a motorway entrance, were investigated. The level of difficulty of the traffic situations varied. Four conditions were tested: baseline without eco-driving information, intermittent feedback, continuous feedback and self-selected feedback (personalised settings selected by the driver).

As expected, the drivers looked at the eco-driving system when it was active, and more so when the traffic situation was less demanding. Importantly, drivers waited longer with their first glance at the display when the traffic situation was more complex. In conclusion, intermittent information is recommended over continuous information as it leads to shorter dwell times, and as it is easier for the system designer to control when the periods of increased glance frequency occur, by presenting the information in strategically advantageous locations that are not demanding for the driver.

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