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Driver behavior

“I am pretty convinced that Dynamic Highways will be a large part of our future operations for highways across the globe”

effective means for speed enforcement it was considered safe to introduce Dynamic Highways applications such as hard- shoulder running.

BEHAVIORAL PATTERNS I am pretty convinced that Dynamic Highways will be a large part of our future operations for highways across the globe. However, as I have stated on more than one occasion in the past I have a concern for the information loads on the driver. A couple of years ago I attended a seminar at TRL in the UK and was particularly struck by statement made by one of the psychologists. “If you drive by habit you are immune to new information”. This sums up my concern. We have put a lot of effort into ensuring that drivers feel safe secure and comfort- able in the environment we have provided to get their vehi- cle from origin to destination. We have minimized the need to think by trying to remove the possibility of any surprises. Now with the help of advanced technologies we are able to change the environment at short notice. A driver can no longer rely on a predictable environment as one segment of the road network may be under a different operational strat- egy than the next one. Part of my concern comes from observed driver behavior.

Here in the US in most States it is legitimate to make a right turn on red at an intersection. There are some intersections where this is prohibited due to pedestrian flows and other reasons and these are signed appropriately. There are large clearly visible signs that say “no turn on red’ or “no turn on red arrow”. My observation is that many drivers either do not see the signs because they have been tuned out or sim- ply choose to ignore them. The advent of Dynamic High- ways and other more sophisticated operational strategies must carry with it a higher demand for driver education and driver awareness. Otherwise one day we will end up with smart highways, smart vehicles and drivers who are not looking so good in comparison. Perhaps Dynamic Highways call for dynamic drivers? Looking further ahead it is possible to see a convergence

Rotterdam, the Netherlands: The Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment has been a Dynamic Highways pioneer

control under the auspices of which it is an offense to travel at an average speed higher than the posted speed limit on a given highway segment. The successful introduction of sec- tion speed control also required a complete rethink of the entire enforcement process. Where previously an offense was committed at a particular location along the highway under the auspices of section control, the offense was not commit- ted over a length of highway. With typical Dutch thorough- ness the application of the technology was matched by the re-engineering of the entire process. Having obtained an

North America Vol 8 No 3

between Dynamic Highways and Big Data. Perhaps this will see the introduction of network management approaches for transportation networks based on those used for computers and power distribution at the moment. Perhaps the future smart grid could be a highway network? Now that would be wizardry.

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 Bob McQueen is CEO of the 0Cash Company, contributing editor to Thinking Highways North America and Content Director of H3B Media’s Broadcast Services Division 49 |||||||||||||||||

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