The Influence of Age on the Take-Over of Vehicle Control in Highly Automated Driving

The growing proportion of older drivers in the population plays an increasingly relevant role in road traffic that is currently awaiting the introduction of automated vehicles. In this study, it was investigated how older drivers (>60 years) compared to younger drivers (<28 years) perform in a critical traffic event when driving highly automated. Conditions of the take-over situation were manipulated by adding a verbal non-driving task (20 questions task) and by variation of traffic density. Two age groups consisting of 36 younger and 36 older drivers drove either with or without a non-driving task on a six-lane highway. They encountered three situations with either no, medium or high traffic density where they had to regain vehicle control and evade an obstacle on the road. Older drivers reacted as fast as younger drivers, however, they differed in their modus operandi as they braked more often and more strongly and maintained a higher time-to-collision (TTC). Deterioration of take-over time and quality caused by increased traffic density and engagement in a non-driving task was on the same level for both age groups. Independent of the traffic density, there was a learning effect for both younger and older drivers in a way that the take-over time decreased, minimum TTC increased and maximum lateral acceleration decreased between the first and the last situation of the experiment. Results highlight that older drivers are able to solve critical traffic events as well as younger drivers, yet their modus operandi differs. Nevertheless, both age groups adapt to the experience of take-over situations in the same way.


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  • Accession Number: 01597841
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Apr 12 2016 9:07AM