With specific headway instructions drivers are not able to attain the exact headways as instructed. In this study, the effects of discrete headway feedback (and the direction of headway adjustment) on headway accuracy for drivers carrying out time headway instructions were assessed experimentally. Two groups of each 10 participants (one receiving headway feedback; one control) carried out headway instructions in a driving simulator; increasing and decreasing their headway to a target headway of 2 s at speeds of 50, 80, and 100 km/h. The difference between the instructed and chosen headway was a measure for headway accuracy. The feedback group heard a sound signal at the moment that they crossed the distance of the instructed headway. Unsupported participants showed no significant difference in headway accuracy when increasing or decreasing headways. Discrete headway feedback had varying effects on headway choice accuracy. When participants decreased their headway, feedback led to higher accuracy. When increasing their headway, feedback led to a lower accuracy, compared to no headway feedback. Support did not affect driver's performance in maintaining the chosen headway. The present results suggest that (a) in its current form discrete headway feedback is not sufficient to improve the overall accuracy of chosen headways when carrying out headway instructions; (b) the effect of discrete headway feedback depends on the direction of headway adjustment.
Risto, M., & Martens, M. H. (2014). Supporting driver headway choice: The effects of discrete headway feedback when following headway instructions. Applied ergonomics, 45(4), 1167-1173. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.apergo.2014.02.003