Research & reports

Title: Could Intelligent Speed Adaptation make overtaking unsafe?

Organisation: University of Leeds (Institute for Transport Studies)
Date uploaded: 8th January 2013
Date published/launched: September 2012

This driving simulator study investigated how mandatory and voluntary ISA might affect a driver's overtaking decisions on rural roads.

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This driving simulator study investigated how mandatory and voluntary Intelligent Speed Adaption (ISA) might affect a driver's overtaking decisions on rural roads, by presenting drivers with a variety of overtaking scenarios designed to evaluate both the frequency and safety of the manoeuvres. In half the overtaking scenarios, ISA was active and in the remainder ISA was switched off. A rural road was modelled with a number of 2 + 1 road sections, thus allowing drivers a protected overtaking opportunity.

Summary of results
The results indicate that drivers became less inclined to initiate an overtaking manoeuvre when the mandatory ISA was active and this was particularly so when the overtaking opportunity was short. In addition to this, when ISA was activated drivers were more likely to have to abandon an overtaking, presumably due to running out of road. They also spent more time in the critical hatched area—a potentially unsafe behaviour.

The quality of the overtaking manoeuvre was also affected when mandatory ISA was active, with drivers pulling out and cutting back in more sharply. In contrast, when driving with a voluntary ISA, overtaking behaviour remained mostly unchanged: drivers disengaged the function in approximately 70% of overtaking scenarios.

The results of this study suggest that mandatory ISA could affect the safety of overtaking manoeuvres unless coupled with an adaptation period or other driver support functions that support safe overtaking.

For more information contact:
Samantha Jamson

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