A Conflict Model and Interactive Simulator (FASTCARS) for Predicting Enroute Driver Behavior in Response to Real-Time Traffic Condition Information
This paper proposes a theoretical methodology and practical data collection approach for modeling enroute driver behavioral choice under Advanced Traveler Information Systems (ATIS). The theoretical framework is based on conflict assessment and resolution theories popularized in psychology and applied to models of individual consumer behavior. It is posed that enroute assessment and adjustment is a reactionary process influenced by increased conflict arousal and motivation to change. When conflict rises to a level at which conflict exceeds a personal threshold of tolerance, drivers are likely to alter enroute behavior to alleviate conflict through either route diversion or goal revision. Assessment and response to conflict arousal directly relate to the driver's abilities to perceive and predict network conditions in conjunction with familiarity of network configurations and accessible alternate routes.
Data collection is accomplished through FASTCARS (Freeway and Arterial Street Traffic Conflict Arousal and Resolution Simulator), an interactive microcomputer-based driving simulator. Limited real-world implementation of ATIS has made it difficult to study or predict individual driver reaction to these technologies. It is contended here that in-laboratory experimentation with interactive route choice simulators can substitute for the lack of real-world applications and provide an alternate approach to data collection and driver behavior analysis. This paper will explain how FASTCARS is useful for collecting data and testing theories of driver behavior.