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Using Travel Simulation to Investigate Driver Response to In-Vehicle Route Guidance Systems,

Firming, P.E. and Budhiraja, H. (2005) Using Travel Simulation to Investigate Driver Response to In-Vehicle Route Guidance Systems,. In: The National Navigation Conference, 1-3 November, London, UK. (Unpublished)

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A major application for developed satellite navigation systems is the in-vehicle route guidance market. As systems become cheaper to purchase and easier to install and indeed car manufacturers begin to fit the equipment as standard in new vehicles, the potential market for such systems in the developed world is massive. But what are the consequences of giving navigational assistance to car drivers? How will drivers respond to this information? Such information is liable to have a big impact upon driver route choice behaviour and is also subject to their interpretation of the guidance and action upon receiving it. This response may change under different travel circumstances. The impact of collective response to driver guidance is also of importance to traffic engineers and city planners, since routing through environmentally sensitive areas or heavily congested corridors should be avoided. The overall network effects are therefore of key importance to ensure efficient routing and minimal disruption to the road network. It is quite difficult to observe real-life behaviour on a consistent basis, since there are so many confounding variables in the real-world, traffic is never the same two days running, let alone hour by hour and a rigorous experimental environment is required, since control of experimental conditions is paramount to being able to confidently predict driver behaviour in response to navigational aids. Also the take up of guidance systems is still in its infancy, so far available only to a niche market of specialist professionals and those with disposable income. A need to test the common publics’ response to route guidance systems is therefore required. The development of travel simulation techniques, using portable computers and specialist software, gives robust experimental advantages. Although not totally realistic of the driving task, these techniques are sufficient in their realism of the decision element of route selection, enough to conduct experimental studies into drivers’ route choice behaviour under conditions of receiving simulated guidance advice. In this manner driver response to in-vehicle route guidance systems can be tested under a range of hypothetical journey making travel scenarios. This paper will outline the development of travel simulation techniques as a tool for in-vehicle route guidance research, including different methods and key simulation design requirements. The second half of the paper will report in detail on the findings from a recently conducted experiment investigating drivers’ response to route guidance when in familiar and unfamiliar road networks. The results will indicate the importance of providing meaningful information to drivers under these two real-life circumstances and report on how demands for route guidance information may vary by type of journey. Findings indicate that the guidance acceptance need not only depend on the optimum route choice criteria, it is also affected by network familiarity, quality and credibility of guidance advice and personal attributes of the drivers.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Copyright, Publisher and Additional Information: Paper given at The National Navigation Conference 2005. Please visit the website of the Royal Institute of Navigation (http://www.rin.org.uk/) for more information.
Institution: The University of Leeds
Academic Units: The University of Leeds > Faculty of Environment (Leeds) > Institute for Transport Studies (Leeds)
Depositing User: Adrian May
Date Deposited: 18 May 2007
Last Modified: 06 May 2015 03:24
Published Version: http://www.rin.org.uk/
Status: Unpublished
Refereed: No
Related URLs:
URI: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/2496

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