Civil and Environmental Engineering MS Thesis Defense: Darryl Michaud
Wednesday, May 2, 2018 - 2:00am

The Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering is pleased to announce Darryl Michaud's MS Thesis Defense: "Driver Distraction in Microsimulation of a Mid-Block Crossing."

Date: Wednesday, May 2, 2018
Time: 2:00pm
Location: Engineering Building 202L (CEE Conference Room)
Adviser: Dr. Miguel Figliozzi

The majority of traffic theory driver models are fundamentally designed to model interactions among vehicles and to analyze performance measures such as capacity, speed, or queuing. This limits the applicability of driver models in simulations intended for modeling pedestrian safety performance. By explicitly including some of the sources of human error this limitation can, in theory, be overcome. While much work has been done towards including these human factors in simulation platforms, one key aspect of human driver behavior has been largely ignored: driver distraction.

This work presents a novel approach to including driver distraction in a microsimulation or agent-based model. Distributions of distraction events and inter-distraction periods are derived from eye-glance data collected during naturalistic driving studies. The developed model of distraction is implemented – along with perception errors, visual obstructions, and driver reaction times – in a simulated mid-block pedestrian crossing.

The results indicate that including perception errors, driver reaction times, visual obstructions, and distraction significantly alters conflict rates. This finding suggests that it may be possible to utilize a new type of microsimulation platform to analyze the impact of human factors on pedestrian safety performance.