Final Report EVA
Emergency vehicles face risks when interacting with surrounding traffic. To support civilian drivers’ move over-behavior they can be provided with an Emergency Vehicle Approaching (EVA) warning. An EVA warning is an in-car warning that lets the driver know that an emergency vehicle is approaching them about 15 seconds in advance. This allows the driver to notice the emergency vehicle earlier and thereby provides them with more time to move over safely. One previous study found that drivers required one interaction with the EVA system to move over quicker compared to drivers who did not get an EVA warning (Weibull et al., 2023). One purpose of the present study was therefore to examine if an introduction to the EVA system had an impact on the learning effect.
VTI and the University of Gothenburg conducted a simulator experiment during the spring with 73 participants. In the experiment, the participants were approached by an emergency vehicle two times while driving on a highway. To examine driver behavior in the upcoming naturalistic study, eye tracking was considered a valuable method. Eye-tracking, combined with measurements of vehicles' speed and placement, allowed for a thorough examination of the effects of whether an introduction to the EVA system affected driver behavior. In previous studies, only measures of vehicle position and speed had been used as measurements of EVA’s effect. Through eye-tracking, it was possible to explore how drivers' glance behavior changed when they received an EVA warning.
The results did not indicate a difference in move-over behavior depending on whether the participants were introduced to the EVA system or not. The eye-tracking analysis showed great potential and will be a central part of a forthcoming publication.