A theoretical analysis and an experimental investigation of certain aspects of automobile driver information processing were undertaken. The theoretical analysis was the result of an effort to avoid difficulties associated with a servomechanistic approach to the automobile driving problem. The analysis is predicated on the assumption that a driver's attention is, in general, not continuously but only intermittently directed to the road. Between observations, uncertainty about both the position of his own vehicle on the road and the possible presence of other vehicles or obstacles increases until it exceeds a threshold. At that moment in time, the driver looks again at the road. This simple model appears to be a useful analog of the driving process. The analysis makes specific predictions about the form of the functional relationship between intervals between observations and vehicle speed. The experimental program had two goals. One was the empirical investigation of the relation between amount of interruption of vision and driving speed. The other was the determination for various drivers and various roads of the values of some of the parameters in the mathematical model. This report presents the result of the theoretical and experimental investigation. In general, the model is a fair approximation of actual behavior and it remains for future work to determine whether this approximation is good enough to be useful for the specification of vehicle, highway, and user characteristics.

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  • Supplemental Notes:
    • Paper sponsored by Committee on Highway Safety and presented at the 46th Annual Meeting. Distribution, posting, or copying of this PDF is strictly prohibited without written permission of the Transportation Research Board of the National Academy of Sciences. Unless otherwise indicated, all materials in this PDF are copyrighted by the National Academy of Sciences. Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
  • Authors:
    • Senders, J W
    • Kristofferson, A B
    • Levison, W H
    • Dietrich, C W
    • Ward, J L
  • Discussers:
    • McDonald, J W
  • Publication Date: 1967


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Print
  • Features: Figures; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: p. 15-33
  • Monograph Title: Road user characteristics
  • Serial:

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00962796
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS, TRB
  • Created Date: Sep 5 2003 12:00AM