Advanced vehicle technologies and road safety: A scoping review of the evidence
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The proliferation of Advanced Vehicle Technologies (AVTs) has generated both excitement and concern among researchers, policymakers, and the general public. An increasing number of driver assistance systems are already available in today's automobiles; many of which are expected to become standard. Therefore, synthesizing the available evidence specific to the safety of AVTs is critical. The goal of this scoping review was to summarize this evidence with a focus on AVTs that require some driver oversight (i.e., Levels 0-3 as per the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) levels of automation taxonomy). A scoping review of research literature on AVTs was conducted for studies up to March 2018. Inclusion criteria consisted of: any study with empirical data of AVTs that included male and female drivers aged 16 years and older, healthy people (i.e., without impairments), passenger vehicles, driving simulators and/or large databases with road safety information that could be analyzed for the purpose of examining AVTs (SAE Levels 0-3), as well as measures of driving outcomes. A total of 324 peer-reviewed studies from 25 countries met the inclusion criteria for this review with over half published in the last 5 years. Data was extracted and summarized according to the following categories: measures used to evaluate the effect of AVTs on road safety (objective) and driver perceptions of the technology (subjective), testing environment, and study populations (i.e., driver age). The most commonly reported objective measures were longitudinal control (50 %), reaction time (40 %), and lateral position (23 %). The most common subjective measures were perceptions of trust (27 %), workload (20 %), and satisfaction (17 %). While most studies investigated singular AVTs (237 of 324 studies), the number of studies after 2013 that examined 2 or more AVTs concurrently increased. Studies involved drivers from different age groups (51 %) and were conducted in driving simulators (70 %). Overall, the evidence is generally in favour of AVTs having a positive effect on driving safety, although the nature and design of studies varied widely. Our examination of this evidence highlights the opportunities as well as the challenges involved with investigating AVTs. Ensuring such technologies are congruent with the needs of drivers, particularly younger and older driver age groups, who are known to have a higher crash risk, is critical. With automotive manufacturers keen to adopt the latest AVTs, this scoping review highlights how testing of this technology has been undertaken, with a focus on how new research can be conducted to improve road safety now and in the future.
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