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A Simulator-Based Evaluation of Smart Infrastructure Concepts for Intersection Decision Support for Rural Thru-STOP Intersections

Janet Creaser, Mick Rakauskas, Nic Ward, Jason Laberge
August 2007
Report no. Mn/DOT 2007-31 1404

Abstract

This report describes the human factors basis for an intersection decision support (IDS) system intended to improve the safety of rural intersections in Minnesota's Interregional Corridors (IRCs). The purpose of the human factors effort is to understand the task of rural intersection negotiation, identify high-risk user groups, describe the human factors that contribute to intersection accidents, and determine what conceptual types of information to present in the IDS display to improve driver performance and safety. Consistent with the original infrastructure consortium proposal, this report emphasizes gaps, older drivers, and rural thru-STOP intersections (Donath & Shankwitz, 2001). This is because older drivers have a high accident risk at rural thru-STOP intersections and problems with gap detection, perception, and acceptance are contributing factors. A task analysis of rural thru-STOP negotiation was used to define the informational requirements for an IDS system for assisting with gap detection, perception and judgment. An abstraction hierarchy defined the operator (driver) constraints relevant to an infrastructure-based IDS system. Four design concepts were constructed and tested in a driving simulator with older (55+) and younger (20-40) drivers in day and night driving conditions. Two designs resulted in the largest mean gap acceptance across groups when compared to baseline. The two design concepts also were most favored by the majority of participants.

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