Driving simulator evaluation of the failure of an audio in-vehicle warning for railway level crossings

Larue, Gregoire S. & Wullems, Christian (2015) Driving simulator evaluation of the failure of an audio in-vehicle warning for railway level crossings. Urban Rail Transit, 1(3), pp. 139-148.

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Abstract

It is impracticable to upgrade the 18,900 Australian passive crossings as such crossings are often located in remote areas, where power is lacking and with low road and rail traffic. The rail industry is interested in developing innovative in-vehicle technology interventions to warn motorists of approaching trains directly in their vehicles. The objective of this study was therefore to evaluate the benefits of the introduction of such technology. We evaluated the changes in driver performance once the technology is enabled and functioning correctly, as well as the effects of an unsafe failure of the technology? We conducted a driving simulator study where participants (N=15) were familiarised with an in-vehicle audio warning for an extended period. After being familiarised with the system, the technology started failing, and we tested the reaction of drivers with a train approaching. This study has shown that with the traditional passive crossings with RX2 signage, the majority of drivers complied (70%) and looked for trains on both sides of the rail track. With the introduction of the in-vehicle audio message, drivers did not approach crossings faster, did not reduce their safety margins and did not reduce their gaze towards the rail tracks. However participants’ compliance at the stop sign decreased by 16.5% with the technology installed in the vehicle. The effect of the failure of the in-vehicle audio warning technology showed that most participants did not experience difficulties in detecting the approaching train even though they did not receive any warning message. This showed that participants were still actively looking for trains with the system in their vehicle. However, two participants did not stop and one decided to beat the train when they did not receive the audio message, suggesting potential human factors issues to be considered with such technology.

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ID Code: 83807
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: Railway level crossing, Intelligent Transport Systems, Failures, Driving simulation
DOI: 10.1007/s40864-015-0018-5
ISSN: 2199-6687
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > ENGINEERING (090000) > AUTOMOTIVE ENGINEERING (090200) > Automotive Safety Engineering (090204)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > TECHNOLOGY (100000) > OTHER TECHNOLOGY (109900) > Technology not elsewhere classified (109999)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > PUBLIC HEALTH AND HEALTH SERVICES (111700) > Public Health and Health Services not elsewhere classified (111799)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > PSYCHOLOGY AND COGNITIVE SCIENCES (170000) > OTHER PSYCHOLOGY AND COGNITIVE SCIENCES (179900)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > PSYCHOLOGY AND COGNITIVE SCIENCES (170000) > OTHER PSYCHOLOGY AND COGNITIVE SCIENCES (179900) > Psychology and Cognitive Sciences not elsewhere classified (179999)
Divisions: Current > Research Centres > Centre for Accident Research & Road Safety - Qld (CARRS-Q)
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Current > Schools > School of Psychology & Counselling
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2015 The Author(s)
Deposited On: 29 Apr 2015 23:48
Last Modified: 19 May 2016 19:49

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