Scholarly Communications Project



Dennis James Collins

Master's Thesis submitted to the Faculty of the Virginia Tech in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of

Master of Science


Industrial and Systems Engineering


Thomas A. Dingus, Chair
Walter W. Wierwille
Vicki L. Neale

April 10, 1997
Blacksburg, Virginia


     Recent technological innovations and the need for increased
safety on the world's roads have led to the introduction of In-
Vehicle Information Systems (IVIS).  These systems will provide 
navigation and advisory information to drivers while they are 
driving.  One aspect of these systems, In-vehicle Signing 
Information Systems (ISIS), would provide the warning, regulatory, 
and advisory information that is currently found on road signs.
These systems may be of particular benefit when external elements 
such as rain, snow, or night driving reduce or eliminate the 
opportunity for drivers to detect road signs.  This study attempts 
to determine what benefits, if any, are realized by drivers using 
this system.
	Fifty-eight drivers operated an instrumented Oldsmobile 
Aurora under eight conditions.  The eight conditions consisted of a 
daylight-clear weather-ISIS condition, a daylight-clear weather-No 
ISIS condition, a daylight-rain-ISIS condition, a daylight-rain-No 
ISIS condition, a night-clear weather-ISIS condition, a night-clear 
weather-No ISIS condition, a night-rain-ISIS condition, and a 
night-rain-No ISIS condition.  Younger drivers (18-30 years old) and
older drivers (65 years or older) took part in this study.
	Three measures of driver performance were collected along 
with subjective preference data.  Each measure was evaluated in 
order to determine what impact, if any, weather, time of day, age, 
and ISIS use had on performance.  Subjective data was evaluated to 
determine driver preference and acceptance of the ISIS display.
	The results indicated that use of the ISIS display led to 
reduced speeds and greater reaction distances for all drivers.  
Evidence was found that seems to indicate that older drivers may 
receive a greater benefit in complex, unfamiliar, or low visibility 
situations.  Evidence was also found that indicates that all drivers
may receive a greater benefit at night for the complex or unfamiliar
situations.  Subjectively, the majority of the drivers indicated
that the ISIS display made them more aware of road sign information.

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