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Effects on Driving Performance of In-Vehicle Intelligent Transport Systems: Final Results of the Australian TAC SafeCar Project

Regan, M, Young, K, Triggs, T, Tomasevic, N, Mitsopoulos-Rubens, E, Tierney, P, Healy, D, Connelly, K, Tingvall, C (Peer reviewed)

Vehicle Technology


This paper reports the final outcomes of a large six-year collaborative research and development project undertaken by the Monash University Accident Research Centre, in conjunction with the Victorian Transport Accident Commission (TAC) and Ford Australia. The TAC SafeCar project, as it has become known internationally, was designed to evaluate, in an on-road trial, driver interaction with three in-vehicle Intelligent Transport Systems: Intelligent Speed Adaptation (ISA); Following Distance Warning (FDW); and the Seat Belt Reminder (SBR). The technical operation of the technologies, driver acceptance of them, and their effects on driving performance and safety were evaluated. These systems, along with a Reverse Collision Warning (RCW) system and Daytime Running Lights, were equipped to 15 Ford passenger cars sub-leased to several Government and private organisations in Melbourne, Australia. A total of 23 drivers drove a SafeCar for 16,500km. The study is the first to have examined the interactive effects of ISA and FDW systems, and the first to have examined long-term driver adaptation to FDW and SBR systems. In this paper, the overall effects of the systems on driving performance and safety are reported. In a companion paper, findings pertaining to driver acceptance of the systems are presented.