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Perceptual Framework for a Modern Left-Turn Collision Warning System
Most of the collision warning systems currently available in the automotive market are mainly designed to warn against imminent rear-end and lane-changing collisions. No collision warning system is commercially available to warn against imminent turning collisions at intersections, especially for left-turn collisions when a driver attempts to make a left-turn at either a signalized or non-signalized intersection, conflicting with the path of other approaching vehicles traveling on the opposite-direction traffic stream. One of the major factors that lead to left-turn collisions is the human error and misjudgment of the driver of the turning vehicle when perceiving the speed and acceleration of other vehicles traveling on the opposite-direction traffic stream; therefore, using a properly-designed collision warning system will likely reduce, or even eliminate, this type of collisions by reducing human error. This paper introduces perceptual framework for a proposed collision warning system that can detect imminent left-turn collisions at intersections. The system utilizes a commercially-available detection sensor (either a radar sensor or a laser detector) to detect approaching vehicles traveling on the opposite-direction traffic stream and calculate their speeds and acceleration rates to estimate the time-tocollision and compare that time to the time required for the turning vehicle to clear the intersection. When calculating the time required for the turning vehicle to clear the intersection, consideration is given to the perception-reaction time of the driver of the turning vehicle, which is the time required by the driver to perceive the message given by the warning system and react to it by engaging the throttle. A regression model was developed to estimate perception-reaction time based on age and gender of the driver of the host vehicle. Desired acceleration rate selected by the driver of the turning vehicle, when making the left-turn movement, is another human factor that is considered by the system. Another regression model was developed to estimate the acceleration rate selected by the driver of the turning vehicle based on driver-s age and gender as well as on the location and speed of the nearest approaching vehicle along with the maximum acceleration rate provided by the mechanical characteristics of the turning vehicle. By comparing time-to-collision with the time required for the turning vehicle to clear the intersection, the system displays a message to the driver of the turning vehicle when departure is safe. An application example is provided to illustrate the logic algorithm of the proposed system.
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