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IVBSS Program Yields Results

October 20, 2010

Members of the U.S. Department of Transportation (U.S. DOT) joined UMTRI in hosting a public meeting on October 20 in Ypsilanti, Michigan to present the final results of the Integrated Vehicle-Based Safety System (IVBSS) program. Approximately 80 representatives of the automotive and commercial truck industries, system suppliers, and state and federal government attended.

The IVBSS program is a five-year $32 million cooperative agreement with the U.S. DOT, UMTRI, and industry partners to test an integrated system of crash-warning technologies designed to enhance the safety of light vehicles and heavy trucks.

In his opening remarks, Ray Resendes of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) (pictured) said the IVBSS program involved one of the most complex field tests ever undertaken, with unprecedented transparency and documentation.

The advanced safety system integrates several crash-warning systems that alert drivers to threats related to forward collision, lane change, and road departure. The safety system was installed on sixteen passenger cars and ten commercial trucks that were driven more than 800,000 miles in field tests conducted by UMTRI from early 2009 to early 2010.

In all, 108 randomly selected drivers from southeast Michigan participated in the passenger car field tests, and 18 commercial truck drivers from Con-way Freight participated in the heavy-truck field tests. Drivers in the study drove the specially equipped vehicles for one year on public roads, yielding thousands of hours of naturalistic driving data.

Associate Research Scientist Jim Sayer, who directs the project for UMTRI, presented a timeline of the IVBSS program, which began in 2005 with the instrumentation of vehicles and selection of subjects. The IVBSS system uses information gathered by inertial, video, and radar sensors, complemented by a global positioning system and digital mapping.

Other speakers at the public meeting included Jack Ference of NHTSA; Emily Nodine of Volpe National Transportation Systems Center; Eric Smock of Con-way Freight; and Scott Bogard and David LeBlanc of UMTRI.

photo of meeting participants examining a passenger car equipped with an integrated safety system

Pictured: Meeting participants examine one of the IVBSS passenger cars equipped with an integrated safety system.

Among the key findings from the IVBSS heavy-truck field test, the majority of drivers felt that the integrated crash-warning system increased their driving safety and made them more aware of the traffic environment around their vehicle and their position in the lane.

Among the key findings from the passenger vehicle field test was a significant reduction in the frequency, distance, and duration of lane departures, increased turn signal use, wide acceptance, and a strong willingness to consider an integrated system when considering the purchase of a new car.

In addition to presenting the findings, UMTRI researchers discussed how the data from the field tests is warehoused in a relational database--making it a powerful research tool for investigating a variety of questions related to vehicle-to-vehicle communication (i.e., IntelliDrive), driver behavior, and vehicle-systems development. They also discussed how the data will be made available to other researchers to conduct their own investigations.

To learn more about the IVBSS program and to access technical reports, visit the Integrated Vehicle-Based Safety System (IVBSS) web page.

Note: Key findings from the passenger vehicle field test will be available online in early November..

Photos by Joyce Daniels, UMTRI