Research Papers

Driving performance on monotonous roads

Filename Larue.pdf
Filesize 315 KB
Version 1
Date added June 6, 2010
Downloaded 2 times/fois
Category 2010 CMRSC XX Niagara
Tags Session 3A
Author/Auteur Grégoire S. Larue, Andry Rakotonirainy, Anthony N. Pettitt


Driving on motorways has largely been reduced to a lane-keeping task with cruise control. Rapidly, drivers are likely to get bored with such a task and take their attention away from the road. This is of concern in terms of road safety – particularly for professional drivers - since inattention has been identified as one of the main contributing factors to road crashes and is estimated to be involved in 20 to 30% of these crashes. Furthermore, drivers are not aware that their vigilance level has decreased and that their driving performance is impaired. Intelligent Transportation System (ITS) intervention can be used as a countermeasure against vigilance decrement. This paper aims to identify a variety of metrics impacted during monotonous driving - ranging from vehicle data to physiological variables - and relate them to two monotonous factors namely the monotony of the road design (straightness) and the monotony of the environment (landscape, signage, traffic). Data are collected in a driving simulator instrumented with an eye tracking system, a heart rate monitor and an electrodermal activity device (N=25 participants). The two monotonous factors are varied (high and low) leading to the use of four different driving scenarios (40 minutes each). We show with Generalised Linear Mixed Models that driver performance decreases faster when the road is monotonous. We also highlight that road monotony impairs a variety of driving performance and vigilance measures, ranging from speed, lateral position of the vehicle to physiological measurements such as heart rate variability, blink frequency and electrodermal activity. This study informs road designers of the importance of having a varied road environment. It also provides a range of metrics that can be used to detect in real-time the impairment of driving performance on monotonous roads. Such knowledge could result in the development of an in-vehicle device warning drivers at early signs of driving performance impairment on monotonous roads.

Grégoire S. Larue, Andry Rakotonirainy and Anthony N. Pettitt