Benjamin Devane
The University of Iowa
Educational Psychology
Joyce Moore
The University of Iowa
Department of Psychological and Quantitative Foundations




Using Driver Simulators to Assess Instructional Format Efficacy on Older and Younger Drivers' Understanding of Adaptive Cruise Control

Drivers have poor conceptual understanding of new adaptive driver safety systems (ADAS) (Jenness et al., 2008) such as adaptive cruise control (ACC). In particular, drivers have difficulty understanding the limitations of driving safety systems, especially as novice users (Larsson, 2012). There is little instruction available to learn about these systems aside from car manuals, and few drivers read auto manuals to completion (Mehlenbacher et al., 2002). Drivers learning to use ACC systems are at risk to develop dangerous incorrect conceptual models of ACC system functions, and therefore over trust system performance (Kazi et al., 2007; Itoh, 2012).

This project will investigate the comparative efficacy of different forms of instruction (informational text, text-based scenarios, and interactive scenarios) on drivers' conceptual models, mental models, and simulation-based driving performance related to ACC systems. This project will build on the investigators' current project to develop scenario-based instruction (interactive and text) to enhance drivers' conceptual and mental models of ACC systems. We use the term conceptual model to describe an individual's mental representation or understanding of ACC systems stored in long-term memory, and we use the term mental model to describe a "runnable" mental representation created in working memory to solve a problem or predict performance of a system.