Towards a driver-centred brake assist system

Active safety systems relevant to longitudinal control like Emergency Brake Assist (EBA) have been developed and specified based on assumptions about the differentiation of driver’s input between “normal” and emergency events. The consequence of these assumptions is a system that does not accommodate for driver variability and can be engaged when it is not intended to and not engaged when it is necessary. The present paper presents data from an empirical study that examined differences in driver braking response in normal and “emergency” situations. 24 participants drove an instrumented vehicle on open roads and on a closed track. Participants were first asked to drive 10km on public roads as an indication of their “normal” braking responses. When they arrived at the closed track they were instructed to follow “at their preferred distance” another car towing a trailer at 48kmph/30mph. After 322m (0.2 mile) the trailer was released and automatically braked. Throttle pedal angle and brake pedal pressure were measured and foot/pedal movements were videorecorded. Results indicate patterns in driver responses that an intelligent brake system could “learn” from, in order to accommodate driver variability and achieve effective augmented braking.