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Human performance models and rear-end collision avoidance algorithms.

Collision warning systems offer a promising approach to mitigate rear-end collisions, but substantial uncertainty exists regarding the joint performance of the driver and the collision warning algorithms. A simple deterministic model of driver performance was used to examine kinematics-based and perceptual-based rear-end collision avoidance algorithms over a range of collision situations, algorithm parameters, and assumptions regarding driver performance. The results show that the assumptions concerning driver reaction times have important consequences for algorithm performance, with underestimates dramatically undermining the safety benefit of the warning. Additionally, under some circumstances, when drivers rely on the warning algorithms, larger headways can result in more severe collisions. This reflects the nonlinear interaction among the collision situation, the algorithm, and driver response that should not be attributed to the complexities of driver behavior but to the kinematics of the situation. Comparisons made with experimental data demonstrate that a simple human performance model can capture important elements of system performance and complement expensive human-in-the-loop experiments. Actual or potential applications of this research include selection of an appropriate algorithm, more accurate specification of algorithm parameters, and guidance for future experiments.
Brown, T., Lee, J. D., & McGehee, D. Human performance models and rear-end collision avoidance algorithms.. 43 3 462-82. .