R2.111 Integrating driver and traffic simulation to assess in-vehicle and road-based level crossing safety interventions.

Research has shown that road vehicle drivers are complacent as well as lacking knowledge when it comes to complying with both active and passive rail crossing warning systems.

This project aims to improve level crossing safety by examining road vehicle drivers’ responses to new ITS. These systems include in-vehicle, and road-side warning and protection systems. The project aims to:
• Evaluate and trial ITS in-vehicle devices to determine the most effective warning system technology. Using a driver simulator, assess road vehicle driver response to a range of in-vehicle assistance systems to warn of approaching Railway Level Crossing (RLX).
• Evaluate the resulting behavioural changes and safety impacts of different assistive systems (human errors, intentional actions, objective and subjective risk assessments) in different traffic situations.
• Provide a set of recommendations to industry on strategies to improve safety with ITS at Rail Level Crossings.

Project Status

The three most promising ITS for safer level crossings have been selected through a cost-benefit analysis process. Human Machine Interfaces (HMI) have been designed for the three ITS devices taking into account human factors and preferences of a panel of Queensland drivers.

A finalised design and methodology for the CARRS-Q driving simulator experiment has been completed. This simulator will assess the effects of the ITS on driving performance, mental workload, user’s acceptance and effects on traffic flows around Rail Level Crossings.

Benefits to Industry

The introduction of integrated in-vehicle (passenger and light transport) systems will potentially significantly reduce accidents at rail level crossings. The long term vision is that these devices will eventually be installed in all new vehicles.