Changing the way we change lanes

Jun 25, 2012

By giving drivers the information they need to change lanes safely, a new device could reduce road crashes by up to 30 per cent.

Robin Hutchinson, currently completing his PhD at the Monash University Accident Research Centre (MUARC), with MUARC researchers Professor Thomas Triggs and Dr Paul Salmon, has developed and is testing a driver support system that aids drivers’ decision making when performing lane changes.

Lane change and related manoeuvres are responsible for up to 30 per cent of road collisions worldwide. Drivers have difficulty judging their location and speed relative to other vehicles.

Mr Hutchinson said existing lane change decision aids alert drivers to potential collisions rather than providing the information needed to drive well.

"Merely alerting the driver of a potential collision does not aid the driver in making the judgements needed to safely perform a lane change,” Mr Hutchinson said.

The new system presents all the information drivers need to make an optimal change of lanes. By converting information that is challenging for drivers to judge – vehicle locations, safety margins and acceleration requirements – into a simple visual form, the system allows drivers to understand their relationship to other vehicles and guide their actions appropriately.

The strength of the new device stems from its presentation of relevant information in a manner that is consistent with humans’ natural perceptual ability.

“We are very good at using natural perception to move around our environment. For example, most people can easily walk through a doorway without touching the sides, or guide their hand to grasp a cup without missing it," Mr Hutchinson said.

"By utilising the strengths of our perceptual system to present useful information we can greatly enhance drivers’ ability to perceive other vehicles, safety margins and acceleration requirements.”

Preliminary results indicate that using the new system perform substantially safer lane changes than while using current lane change assistance systems, or with no assistance at all.

Mr Hutchinson is now recruiting for participants to evaluate the effectiveness of the new system in one of MUARC's two driving simulators.

“The simulator allows us to safely evaluate the new system without the potential hazards of an on-road study,” Mr Hutchinson said.

Explore further: Lifting the brakes on fuel efficiency

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Dynamic toll for smooth-flowing traffic

Aug 12, 2011

Highway traffic can flow more freely thanks to a dynamic toll. Siemens has developed a special algorithm for traffic control systems that adjusts the toll charge to the current traffic situation. In return, ...

The car 'learns' to see and understand

Sep 13, 2005

Siemens VDO Automotive presents an ergonomic network of driver assistance systems at the 61st IAA Motor Show in Frankfurt, Germany. As the volume of traffic on the road increases, will help assist drivers by warning them ...

Recommended for you

Lifting the brakes on fuel efficiency

Apr 18, 2014

The work of a research leader at Michigan Technological University is attracting attention from Michigan's Governor as well as automotive companies around the world. Xiaodi "Scott" Huang of Michigan Tech's ...

Large streams of data warn cars, banks and oil drillers

Apr 16, 2014

Better warning systems that alert motorists to a collision, make banks aware of the risk of losses on bad customers, and tell oil companies about potential problems with new drilling. This is the aim of AMIDST, the EU project ...

User comments : 4

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

rwinners
not rated yet Jun 25, 2012
"Hey, don't look at me, officer! That damned car told me the lane change was safe!"

I suspect that the authors of this study work for an body that is supported by the American Insurance Industry.

I mean, like airbags and seat belts. If you have airbags, then why seat belts? Ask the insurance industry.

irjsiq
not rated yet Jun 25, 2012
Use of 'Calculus' while driving, is automatic and natural. Situations are constantly in 'flux', and our decisions, are likewise ever in flux, adjusting constantly.
A 'convex lens' in the upper-right corner of the driver-side mirror, has been attached to my vehicle for several years, though only recently have I began to 'see it first' for the purpose of 'viewing' the 'blind spot'. It works very well, as vehicles are only visible when they are in the 'blind spot'.
Such does not eliminate caution, though it reduces complexities of the ever-evolving 'calculus' considerations.
Vendicar_Decarian
1 / 5 (1) Jun 26, 2012
Because seat belts keep you from flying out of the car, and flying around inside the car.

Air bags do not, but do provide a nice cushion between you and portions of the car's interior.

"If you have airbags, then why seat belts?" - rlosers

Astonishing that you are unaware of the obvious.

rwinners
not rated yet Jun 26, 2012
Off course, v... and seatbelts save lives too... and sometime not. Are you an actuary?

More news stories

Ex-Apple chief plans mobile phone for India

Former Apple chief executive John Sculley, whose marketing skills helped bring the personal computer to desktops worldwide, says he plans to launch a mobile phone in India to exploit its still largely untapped ...

Airbnb rental site raises $450 mn

Online lodging listings website Airbnb inked a $450 million funding deal with investors led by TPG, a source close to the matter said Friday.

Health care site flagged in Heartbleed review

People with accounts on the enrollment website for President Barack Obama's signature health care law are being told to change their passwords following an administration-wide review of the government's vulnerability to the ...

A homemade solar lamp for developing countries

(Phys.org) —The solar lamp developed by the start-up LEDsafari is a more effective, safer, and less expensive form of illumination than the traditional oil lamp currently used by more than one billion people ...

NASA's space station Robonaut finally getting legs

Robonaut, the first out-of-this-world humanoid, is finally getting its space legs. For three years, Robonaut has had to manage from the waist up. This new pair of legs means the experimental robot—now stuck ...

Filipino tests negative for Middle East virus

A Filipino nurse who tested positive for the Middle East virus has been found free of infection in a subsequent examination after he returned home, Philippine health officials said Saturday.

Egypt archaeologists find ancient writer's tomb

Egypt's minister of antiquities says a team of Spanish archaeologists has discovered two tombs in the southern part of the country, one of them belonging to a writer and containing a trove of artifacts including reed pens ...