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Exploring relationships between observed activation rates and functional attributes of lane departure prevention

Reagan, Ian J.; Cicchino, Jessica B.; Montalbano, Carl J.
Insurance Institute for Highway Safety
July 2018

Objective: Driver use of lane departure warning and prevention systems is lower than other crash avoidance technologies and varies significantly by manufacturer. One factor that may affect use is how well a system prevents unintended departures. The current study evaluated the performance of systems that assist in preventing departures by providing steering or braking input in a 2016 Chevrolet Malibu, 2016 Ford Fusion, 2016 Honda Accord, and 2018 Volvo S90. These vehicles were selected because a prior observational study found the percentage of privately owned vehicles that had lane departure prevention systems turned on varied among these four automakers.
Method: In each vehicle, a test driver induced 40 lane drifts on left and right curves by steering the vehicle straight into the curve so that vehicles departed in the opposite direction and 40 lane drifts on straightaways by slight steering input to direct the vehicle to left and right lane markers.
Results: Vehicles from automakers with higher observed lane departure prevention use rates (Volvo, Chevrolet) featured systems that provided steering input earlier and more often avoided crossing lane markers by more than 35 cm compared with vehicles from automakers with lower observed use rates (Ford, Honda).
Conclusion: The study identified functional characteristics of lane departure prevention systems that were strongly associated with observed activation of these systems in privately owned vehicles, and the findings support the hypothesis that functional characteristics of lane departure prevention systems affect their use. Designers may be able to use these results to maximize driver acceptance of future implementations of lane departure prevention.