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Drivers’ comfort boundaries when overtaking a cyclist - Set-up and verification of a methodology for field data collection and analysis

Ron Schindler ; Viktor Bast
Göteborg : Chalmers tekniska högskola, 2015. Diploma work - Department of Applied Mechanics, Chalmers University of Technology, Göteborg, Sweden, ISSN 1652-8557; 2015:02, 2015.
[Examensarbete på avancerad nivå]

In the past years, the global movement of people and goods has been increasing. Especially for personal transports, cars are the most frequent choice, resulting not only in a high market share, but also in problems such as pollution, traffic jams and congestion. However, there are alternatives; for instance cycling, which is a healthy, economical and environmentally friendly solution. For these reasons, the number of cyclists is in fact growing very rapidly in Europe. Nevertheless, this modal shift might rise unforeseen concerns. In particular, cycling safety has drawn the attention of many researchers worldwide. While cycling, the interaction with motorized vehicles deserves a special attention, as crashes with motorized vehicles are responsible for the most severe cycling injuries. Among the possible scenarios where vehicles and cyclists may encounter, overtaking maneuvers are of exceptional concern, as they happen at speeds that are usually higher than in other scenarios. In an overtaking scenario, the assessment of drivers’ comfort zone boundaries is a crucial aspect. Driver comfort boundaries are often used to investigate whether or not a situation feels safe and comfortable for the driver. Comfort zone boundaries are also used to determine when to trigger warnings or initiate autonomous interventions for active safety systems. In overtaking situations, comfort zone boundaries allow for an estimation of safety distances between the involved actors. Although research has been conducted on car-to-bicycle overtaking maneuvers, especially on what influences these safety distances, previous studies have mainly been limited to assess the lateral clearance between the bicycle and vehicle. Within this thesis, a new framework to enable field research of car-to-bicycle overtaking is presented. After providing a theoretical model for different phases of an overtaking maneuver, a field experiment was performed using an equipped bike and an equipped car. In these experiments, an electrical bicycle which had been equipped with sensors, cameras, a data logger and a LIDAR, was ridden on two roads in Västra Götaland, Sweden. In addition, an equipped car with a CAN logger, GPS and eye tracking system was used for the experiments. Data from the experiment were analyzed to determine the sensor performance and the extent to which data from the instrumented bicycle and the instrumented car were able to identify the phases of an overtaking maneuver and their corresponding comfort zone boundaries. This thesis also discusses the results in terms of the factors which may influence an overtaking maneuver and provides suggestions for future research on car-to-bicycle overtaking.

Nyckelord: electric bicycle, instrumented vehicle, human factors, traffic safety.

Publikationen registrerades 2015-07-02. Den ändrades senast 2015-07-02

CPL ID: 219283

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