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Gender Differences Measured on Driving Performances in an Urban Simulated Environment

Part of the Advances in Intelligent Systems and Computing book series (AISC,volume 958)

Abstract

For decades, researchers have highlighted significant differences in gender and age groups in terms of driving behaviour. There are several studies, concerning gender, about the different perceptions of risk, traffic accident involvement and risky driving. The present research is a part of a research project about risk perception between genders that aims to estimate and quantify gender differences in terms of driving behaviour. In particular, this paper aims to focus on differences between male and female drivers in performing stopping maneuver in an urban environment. As confirmed by several medical studies, the gender difference involves cognitive and psychophysiological differences, which have a significant impact on the risk perception assessment. In the past, several researches have investigated gender differences on driving behaviour through questionnaire, statistical analysis and psychological driving task, but today technological advances have allowed the development of new tools to study the drivers’ behaviour. In fact, many studies in the field of road safety were recently conducted with the virtual reality driving simulator. In this instance, the analysis is carried out through the virtual reality driving simulator, situated in the LASS3 Virtual Reality Laboratory of University Research Centre for Road Safety, by implementing a simulated scenario of an urban condition with many sudden events (e.g. intersection, pedestrian crossing, merging vehicle into the traffic, etc.) that can lead to a stopping maneuver. The LASS3 virtual reality driving simulator collects all the kinematic and dynamic driving measures (e.g. speed, acceleration, position respect to the lane, pedal pressure, etc.) with a frequency of 0.1 s. A sample of 40 drivers were subjected to the driving test and the results of three indicators of risk perception are studied in order to confirm the results of the previous analysis. The selected indicators for the analysis are: time to collision (TTC), pressure on brake pedal (PB) and slip ratio (SR). As results show, male and female drivers have a different behaviour in performing stopping maneuver. Even if they have the same perception of the potential risk of the road environment (TTC values), they perform in a very different way the stopping maneuver: men more carefully than women (PB, SR).

Keywords

  • Virtual reality driving simulation
  • Risk assessment
  • Driver behaviour
  • Human factor

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Correspondence to Chiara Ferrante .

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Ferrante, C., Varladi, V., De Blasiis, M.R. (2020). Gender Differences Measured on Driving Performances in an Urban Simulated Environment. In: Cassenti, D. (eds) Advances in Human Factors and Simulation. AHFE 2019. Advances in Intelligent Systems and Computing, vol 958. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-20148-7_14

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