Adaptive Forward Collision Warnings: The Impact of Imperfect Technology on Behavioral Adaptation, Warning Effectiveness and Acceptance

Adaptive ADAS that adjust warnings according to the driver´s current need for support offer a great potential to increase safety. However, it is crucial to understand how drivers deal with dynamically adapting technologies particularly in situations in which driver state monitoring fails and the system shows unexpected behavior. To better understand the consequences of unreliable adaptive ADAS on safety and to assess how failures of an adaptive FCW influence driving behavior, the authors conducted a driving simulator study with N = 48 participants. Participants experienced critical brake events in situations with and without a distracting secondary task. An adaptive FCW provided visual warnings to undistracted drivers but highly supportive visuo-haptic warnings (brake jerks or vibration) to distracted drivers. In 20% of brake events, however, the system unexpectedly provided incorrectly adapted warnings in which the combination of warning type and distraction was reversed. This adaptive FCW was compared to a non-adaptive standard FCW that provided visual warnings only. The authors found that incorrect warnings impaired driver reactions and safety in distracted drivers, and these adverse behavioral effects had two sources: (1) Violations of the drivers´ expectancies about the warning, and hence, behavioral adaptation. (2) The absence of the compensatory effect of the highly supportive warning in case of distraction. In contrast, correctly adapted warnings reduced decrements in brake reaction times and fully offset safety deficits associated with driver distraction. Crucially, however, an effectiveness evaluation of the adaptive system’s potential to support drivers when correct warnings were elicited failed to demonstrate a benefit of the adaptive FCW over the non-adaptive FCW. The results thus emphasize that a high reliability is crucial for adaptive ADAS to improve safety and to prevent adverse effects due to behavioral adaptation.


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  • Accession Number: 01706001
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: May 7 2019 3:04PM