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Hum Factors. 2012 Oct;54(5):772-85.

An adaptive driver support system: user experiences and driving performance in a simulator.

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Department of Psychology, University of Groningen, Grote Kruisstraat 2/1, Groningen 9712 TS, Netherlands.



The aim of this study was to test the implementation of an adaptive driver support system.


Providing support might not always be desirable from a safety perspective, as support may lead to problems related to a human operator being out of the loop. In contrast, adaptive support systems are designed to keep the operator in the loop as much as possible by providing support only when necessary.


A total of 31 experienced drivers were exposed to three modes of lane-keeping support nonadaptive, adaptive, and no support. Support involved continuously updated lateral position feedback shown on a head-up display. When adaptive, support was triggered by performance-based indications of effort investment. Narrowing lane width and increasing density of oncoming traffic served to increase steering demand, and speed was fixed in all conditions to prevent any compensatory speed reactions.


Participants preferred the adaptive support mode mainly as a warning signal and tended to ignore nonadaptive feedback. Furthermore, driving behavior was improved by adaptive support in that participants drove more centrally, displayed less lateral variation and drove less outside the lane's delineation when support was in the adaptive mode compared with both the no-support mode and the nonadaptive support mode.


A human operator is likely to use machine-triggered adaptations as an indication that thresholds have been passed, regardless of the support that is initiated. Therefore supporting only the sensory processing stage of the human information processing system with adaptive automation may not feasible.


These conclusions are relevant for designing adaptive driver support systems.

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