It is known that distraction reduces the benefits of collision avoidance systems by slowing a driver's response. The current study examined the impact of a drivers' use of an in-vehicle intersection crossing assist system under demanding cognitive load conditions. Forty eight drivers crossed a busy rural intersection in a simulated environment while completing four blocks of trials, in half of which they used the assist system and engaged in a working memory task. Participants were dichotomized into older and younger age groups. The results showed a tendency towards conservative driving in a single-task condition when only using the assist system. A similar shift in driving style was observed when drivers crossed the intersection while engaged in a secondary task. Using the in-vehicle intersection crossing assist system under cognitively demanding conditions did not result in adverse consequences - the impact of distraction was different compared to a typical collision avoidance system. Older drivers showed some evidence of more conservative intersection crossing, however they also appeared to rely more on the in-vehicle assist system when presented with an extraneous additional task.
- Assist system