Adaptive brake lights : an investigation into their relative benefits in regards to road safety

Roughan, Craig (2007) Adaptive brake lights : an investigation into their relative benefits in regards to road safety. Masters by Research thesis, Queensland University of Technology.


The implementation of In-Vehicle Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS) is becoming a common occurrence in modern vehicles. Automobile manufacturers are releasing vehicles with many forms of sophisticated technologies that remove much of the responsibility of controlling an automobile from the driver. These In-Vehicle Intelligent Transport Systems have stemmed from a genuine need in regards to road safety, however there are advantages and disadvantages associated with ITS. Each different form of technology has its own inherent compromises in relation to road safety, driver behaviour and driver comfort.

This thesis outlines the benefits and detrimental effects associated with current In-Vehicle Intelligent Transport Systems and details the development and user interface testing of an adaptive brake light. The adaptive brakelight concept aims to provide drivers with the advantages of an In-Vehicle ITS whilst removing the disadvantages. The technology will help drivers judge the braking pattern of the car in front, thus allowing them to react appropriately and potentially reducing the occurrence of rear-end crashes.

The adaptive brake light concept was tested in comparison to a standard brake light and BMW inspired brake light in a series of user interface tests. The adaptive brake light was shown overall to be an improved method of displaying the varying levels of deceleration of a lead vehicle. Whilst different age and gender groups responded differently to the adaptive brake light, it was shown to be of benefit to the majority and the most at risk groups responded positively to the adaptive brake light.

This research shows that an adaptive brake light can provide a benefit in regards to road safety when compared to a standard brake light interface. It is hoped that further development of variable brake lights will result from this research and possibly lead to the implementation of the technology to automobiles and other forms of transport.

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ID Code: 16335
Item Type: QUT Thesis (Masters by Research)
Supervisor: Popovic, Vesna & Rakotonirainy, Andry
Keywords: adaptive brake lights and interfaces, automotive design, brake light interface user testing, driving simulator, human factors, in-vehicle intelligent transport systems, road safety, transport design, variable brake lights
Divisions: Past > QUT Faculties & Divisions > Faculty of Built Environment and Engineering
Past > Schools > School of Design
Department: Faculty of Built Environment and Engineering
Institution: Queensland University of Technology
Copyright Owner: Copyright Craig Roughan
Deposited On: 03 Dec 2008 04:01
Last Modified: 28 Oct 2011 19:46

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