Driver adherence to recommendations from support systems improves if the systems explain why they are given: a simulator study
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This paper presents a large-scale simulator study on driver adherence to recommendations given by driver support systems, specifically eco-driving support and navigation support. 123 participants took part in this study, and drove a vehicle simulator through a pre-defined environment for a duration of approximately 10 min. Depending on the experimental condition, participants were either given no eco-driving recommendations, or a system whose provided support was either basic (recommendations were given in the form of an icon displayed in a manner that simulates a heads-up display) or informative (the system additionally displayed a line of text justifying its recommendations). A navigation system that likewise provided either basic or informative support, depending on the condition, was also provided. Effects are measured in terms of estimated simulated fuel savings as well as engine braking/coasting behaviour and gear change efficiency. Results indicate improvements in all variables. In particular, participants who had the support of an eco-driving system spent a significantly higher proportion of the time coasting. Participants also changed gears at lower engine RPM when using an eco-driving support system, and significantly more so when the system provided justifications. Overall, the results support the notion that providing reasons why a support system puts forward a certain recommendation improves adherence to it over mere presentation of the recommendation. Finally, results indicate that participants’ driving style was less eco-friendly if the navigation system provided justifications but the eco-system did not. This may be due to participants considering the two systems as one whole rather than separate entities with individual merits. This has implications for how to design and evaluate a given driver support system since its effectiveness may depend on the performance of other systems in the vehicle.
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