Vehicle technology

Title: Effect of using an in-vehicle smart driving aid on real-world driver performance

Organisation: University of Warwick
Date uploaded: 14th April 2015
Date published/launched: August 2014

A smart driving system (providing both safety and fuel-efficient driving advice in real time in the vehicle) was evaluated in real-world on-road driving trials to see if any measurable beneficial changes in driving performance would be observed.

40 participants drove an instrumented vehicle over a 50-min mixed-route driving scenario. Two conditions were adopted: one is a control with no smart driving feedback offered and the other is with advice being presented to the driver via a smartphone in the vehicle.

Key findings from the study showed a 4.1% improvement in fuel efficiency when using the smart driving aid, importantly with no increase in journey time or reduction in average speed. Primarily, these efficiency savings were enabled by limiting the use of lower gears (facilitated by planning ahead to avoid unnecessary stops) and an increase in the use of the fifth gear (as advised by the in-vehicle system).

Significant and important changes in driving safety behaviours were also observed, with an increase in mean headway to 2.3 s and an almost threefold reduction in time spent traveling closer than 1.5 s to the vehicle in front.

The paper concludes that an in-vehicle smart driving system specifically developed and designed with the drivers' information requirements in mind can lead to significant improvements in driving behaviours.

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