Adaptations in driver behaviour characteristics during control transitions from full-range Adaptive Cruise Control to manual driving

an on-road study

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Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) can reduce traffic congestion and accidents. In dense traffic flow conditions and when changing lanes, drivers prefer to deactivate the ACC. These control transitions between automation and manual driving could impact driver behaviour characteristics. However, few studies have analysed the magnitude and duration of these adaptations. This research aims at quantifying the adaptations in speed, acceleration, distance headway and relative speed when drivers resume manual control. We collected driver behaviour data in an on-road experiment with full-range ACC during peak hours in Munich. We analysed these data using linear mixed-effects models to identify statistically significant changes in driver behaviour characteristics after drivers resumed manual control (transition period). The results reveal that the speed decreased significantly after the system was deactivated and it increased significantly after the system was overruled by pressing the gas pedal. These adaptations might have a substantial impact on traffic efficiency and safety.