Comprehensive Analysis of Dynamic Message Sign Impact on Driver Behavior: A Random Forest Approach

03/10/2019
by   Snehanshu Banerjee, et al.
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This study investigates the potential effects of different Dynamic Message Signs (DMSs) on driver behavior using a full-scale high-fidelity driving simulator. Different DMSs are categorized by their content, structure, and type of messages. A random forest algorithm is used for three separate behavioral analyses; a route diversion analysis, a route choice analysis and a compliance analysis; to identify the potential and relative influences of different DMSs on these aspects of driver behavior. A total of 390 simulation runs are conducted using a sample of 65 participants from diverse socioeconomic backgrounds. Results obtained suggest that DMSs displaying lane closure and delay information with advisory messages are most influential with regards to diversion while color-coded DMSs and DMSs with avoid route advice are the top contributors impacting route choice decisions and DMS compliance. In this first-of-a-kind study, based on the responses to the pre and post simulation surveys as well as results obtained from the analysis of driving-simulation-session data, the authors found that color-blind-friendly, color-coded DMSs are more effective than alphanumeric DMSs - especially in scenarios that demand high compliance from drivers. The increased effectiveness may be attributed to reduced comprehension time and ease with which such DMSs are understood by a greater percentage of road users.

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