Watch Out! Something Precious is Moving

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Eleni Chalkia

One critical situation when a driver needs to have a high degree of awareness, to avoid critical situations or crashes, is when passing a school bus, stopped for boarding or de-boarding of children. With the help of an experiment in VTI’s moving base driving simulator, a scenario, using in-vehicle information before the bus was reached, was tested. The aim was to enhance drivers’ perception, in order to reduce the speed of vehicles passing by the stopped bus. Both alert and sleep deprived drivers were tested.

The results showed a significant speed reduction thanks to the information given beforehand. Sleep deprivation did not seem to have an impact on speed reduction. This suggests that the warning signals are seen and followed, regardless the drivers’ state of alertness. Thus, it seems likely that this type of information may be useful as an Intelligent Transport System (ITS), to provide driver support about upcoming hazards. One step towards further research in this direction is performed within the EU project SAFEWAY2SCHOOL, the main objectives of which are presented at the end of this chapter.

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