Browse Projects > Detailed View

Effects of Advanced Driver Assistance Systems on Vulnerable Road Users


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).


This work may contribute to the increased safety of VRUs. Safety may be enhanced through the development of more effective strategies in the design and use of ADAS along with the development of methods to educate VRUs on the use of these systems.

Related Research:

Benson, A., Tefft, B.C., Svancara, A. M. & Horrey, W.J. (2018). Potential Reduction in Crashes, Injuries and Deaths from Large-Scale Deployment of Advanced Driver Assistance Systems. Washington, D.C.: AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety.

Cicchino, J.B. (2017a). Effectiveness of forward collision warning and autonomous emergency braking systems in reducing front-to-rear crash rates. Accident Analysis & Prevention, 99(Pt A): 142-152.

Cicchino, J.B. (2017b). Effects of Lane Departure Warning on Police-Reported Crash Rates. Arlington, VA: Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

Eby, D.W., Molnar, L.J., Zhang, L., St. Louis, R.M., Zanier, N. & Kostyniuk, L.P. (2015). Keeping Older Adults Driving Safely: A Research Synthesis of Advanced In-Vehicle Technologies: A LongROAD Study. Washington, D.C.: AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety.

Jenness, J.W., Lerner, N.D., Mazor, S., Osberg, J.S., & Tefft, B.C. (2007). Use of Advanced In-Vehicle Technology by Young and Older Early Adopters: Results on Sensor-Based Backing Systems and Rear-View Video Cameras (Report No. DOT HS 810 828). Washington, D.C.: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

Sponsoring Committee:ACH30, Human Factors of Vehicles
Research Period:12 - 24 months
Research Priority:High
RNS Developer:Bob Dewar and David Moore
Date Posted:01/04/2021
Date Modified:01/04/2021
Index Terms:
Safety and Human Factors

Please click here if you wish to share information or are aware of any research underway that addresses issues in this research needs statement. The information may be helpful to the sponsoring committee in keeping the statement up-to-date.