Innate behaviour guides how drivers steer cars
(4 years ago)
Washington, Jan. 03 : A new study has shown that the jerkiness while driving is due to an innate behavior humans have when reaching for a target with their hand.
Researchers at Chalmers University of Technology solved a 70 year old mystery in traffic research: until now inexplicable jerkiness when people steer a vehicle. The discovery might lead to safety systems in cars that can correct dangerous steering movements before they occur.
The ability to predict what a driver was going to do in the near future and to be able to prepare the car's system for this sounds a little bit like science fiction, and it would naturally be dream come true for the safety departments at car manufacturers. The dream would be now one step closer to becoming reality.
Chalmers researcher Ola Benderius said that the with the driver model that he have developed, it would be possible to predict what drivers are going to do with the steering wheel before they do it.
With the idea in mind, Benderius extracted over 1,000 hours of car and truck driving from real driving data, which resulted in 1.3 million steer corrections. It turned out that 95 per cent of these correspond with the reaching theory. Ola Benderius and Gustav Markkula had discovered that steering was not linear when the driver follows the road, but rather that the driver turns the wheel according to the special reaching pattern.
With this new knowledge, he was able to develop a mathematical model that can explain many observed steering behaviours, which means that the driver response to different situations can be predicted before it occurs. Benderius believes the discovery will have an impact on an entire research field.