Exploring Driver Behaviour Using Simulated Worlds

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Nick Reed
Alan Stevens

This chapter presents the background, along with some illustrated examples, of simulator applications for the needs of assessing novel systems and infrastructure interventions, in terms of enhancing the forgiving and self-explanatory nature of a road. The first two, “Active traffic management” and “Non-physical motorway segregation” are designed to ease congestion but also have implications for safety, the first leading towards a self-explanatory road environment (SER), whereas the second contributing towards a more forgiving road environment (FRE). The second two “Actively illuminated road studs” and “Psychological traffic calming” are FRE types of interventions, designed for rural roads specifically to improve safety, but these may also have unanticipated consequences. For example, delineation of a road at night by actively illuminated road studs offers the driver much greater visibility of the road ahead, but this could be exploited by drivers choosing to drive at higher speeds. Finally, the pilot testing of milled vs. “virtual” rumble strips as in-vehicle information is presented (another FRE measure), as tested within IN-SAFETY, following a testing methodology which brings together methods for collecting data on individual driver behaviour and traffic simulation, building upon the traffic safety related adaptations of microsimulation models.

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