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Minnesota Department of Transportation
This study aimed to determine the usefulness of the Driver Assistive System (DAS) in the context of plowing roads during low-visibility conditions. Driving performance, driver workload, and system performance were to be compared in a field operational test (FOT). Geographical location of the driver's route proved to play a large part in the desirability and perceived reliability of the system, as rural drivers preferred the system due to the lack of lighting and visual guidance while driving in low-visibility conditions. Most drivers did not have problems remembering how to use the DAS, and that the system made them feel safer and more in control while driving. The haptic seat was praised for giving warnings while letting them keep their eyes on the road or performing other in-cab tasks and their ideal configuration would be to use the haptic seat and/or the HUD. Due to an uncharacteristically mild winter weather conditions, it was decided that the FOT would not provide enough experience using the DAS during low-visibility conditions to make reasonable conclusions on driving performance. Therefore, it was necessary to use an additional experimental design with a track test, which is discussed in a supplemental document (Rakauskas et al., 2003).
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