Title page for ETD etd-04232005-201850

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Brown, Sarah Beth
Author's Email Address sabrown8@vt.edu
URN etd-04232005-201850
Title Effects of Haptic and Auditory Warnings on Driver Intersection Behavior and Perception
Degree Master of Science
Department Industrial and Systems Engineering
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Lee, Suzanne E. Committee Co-Chair
Smith-Jackson, Tonya L. Committee Co-Chair
Kleiner, Brian M. Committee Member
  • haptic
  • haptic warning
  • auditory warning
  • multi-modality warning
  • in-vehicle warning
  • intersection violation
  • brake pulse warning
Date of Defense 2005-04-08
Availability unrestricted
Intersection crashes account for over one-third of all crashes in the U.S., and 39% of these result in injury or death. As part of a larger effort to develop and evaluate in-vehicle countermeasures to reduce the number of intersection-related crashes, haptic warnings and a combined haptic/auditory warning were explored and compared to combined visual/auditory warnings.

The first phase of this study determined which haptic brake pulse warning candidate most often resulted in the driver successfully stopping for an intersection. Five brake pulse warnings were tested (varied with respect to jerk, duration, and the number of pulses). Participants receiving the haptic warnings were 38 times more likely to stop at the intersection than those receiving no warning and 7.6 times more likely to stop than those receiving a combined visual/auditory tone warning. The 600ms-3 pulses condition was advanced to the second phase because it provided the longest warning and had a more favorable subjective rating; it was then combined with an auditory verbal warning (urgent “STOP”). This phase determined whether the added verbal warning resulted in differences from the haptic warning alone. Although the warning was activated 7.62 m (25 ft) closer to the intersection in the second phase than in the first phase, there were no significant differences for the reaction times and distance to stop bar. Participants receiving the haptic plus auditory verbal warning were also 1.5 times more likely to stop than those who received the haptic warning alone. Overall, this study shows that haptic warnings show promise for warning drivers of impending intersection violations. Guidelines for haptic intersection warnings were developed, including a recommendation that haptic warnings be combined with auditory verbal warnings for increased warning effectiveness.

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