Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) are available in most new vehicles. These include cruise control, intelligent speed adaptation, lane departure warning and collision avoidance. Several studies have documented the potential and actual safety benefits of these technologies. However, as the role and function of these technologies continues to evolve to the point where they actively control more elements of the driving task, there is a need to determine how well these systems are understood and used by drivers. Past work has documented some of the critical gaps in drivers’ understanding of the purpose, operation and limitations of these systems, however, much less is understood regarding the knowledge and understanding (i.e., mental models) of other populations of drivers: older and novice drivers, differently abled drivers, those with cognitive deficits, etc. Such drivers might also face challenges associated with poor visual acuity and night vision, reduced attention, poor visual search, poor comprehension and navigation difficulties. It is necessary to determine how ADAS can benefit these Vulnerable Road Users (VRUs) as well as some of the barriers or drawbacks associated with their use.
Complete a state of the art review or research on VRUs and the use of ADAS features. Based on a comprehensive assessment of functional declines and capabilities in different VRU populations, develop a needs assessment that can map onto different ADAS technologies to determine how ADAS could assist VRUs in the safe operation of motor vehicles. Evaluate barriers to adoption and/or appropriate use of these technologies by different populations of VRUs (e.g., through focus groups, interviews, surveys or experimentation).
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