Investigators

David A. Noyce, Ph.D., P.E.
University of Wisconsin - Madison
Civil Engineering
Madhav Chitturi
University of Wisconsin - Madison
Civil Engineering

Final Report

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Final Report Summary

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Project

Effectiveness of In-Vehicle Virtual Traffic Control Devices

Traffic Control Devices (TCD) are used to communicate regulatory, warning, and guidance information to roadway users through signs and pavement markings. Research has shown that the ability of drivers to recognize post-mounted signs is adversely affected by other vehicles, (especially trucks) and visual clutter.

Over the years, researchers have studied the use of head-up display (HUD) in vehicles to display complementary information to drivers regarding the road environment. Each vehicle manufacturer provides their own version of the technology and focus primarily on speed, navigation, and vehicle warnings such as crash avoidance and lane departure. With current advances in technology, and the market penetration of "infotainment" systems, the roadway of the future could be a sign-less one, or at least one with limited sign use.

The objective of this project is to study the effectiveness of non-traditional in-vehicle displays such as HUD and dash-mounted screens in communicating existing TCD information to drivers by studying how subjects navigate on a sign-less roadway. The behavior of drivers on a sign-less road will be compared to the behavior of a group of drivers that navigate a road with traditional MUTCD compliant signing. A full-scale driving simulator, instrumented with non-traditional in-vehicle displays, and eye tracking equipment, is proposed as the experimental platform.

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