A Cloud-based Solutions to Commercial Driver Hazard Perception Training and Screening

Period of Performance: 09/01/2016 - 02/28/2017

$150K

Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Systems Technology, Inc.
13766 Hawthorne Blvd. Array
Hawthorne, CA 90250
Principal Investigator

Abstract

? DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): Motor vehicle crashes remain the leading cause of death among U.S. workers and cost employers $60 billion annually in medical care, legal expenses, property damage, and lost productivity. Compounding the safety problem is the high commercial driver turnover rate and shortage of experienced drivers. The industry is thus faced with the challenge of screening/training new drivers and re-training experienced drivers as turnover rates continue and crashes accumulate. Proactive, traffic safety programs with driving simulation-based training provides an attractive means of preventing crashes. When specified for a particular vehicle and task, the advantages of simulation-based training are clear: safety, versatility, standardization, repeatability, etc... Simulation also provides an engaging platform fr disseminating knowledge, and improving overall hazard perception and response skills. To meet the traffic safety and training needs of commercial motor carriers, this Phase I SBIR proposes the development a cloud-based, commercial driver training system that uses job specific, multimedia instruction and low-cost, driving simulation technology to supplement traditional driver training. As a cloud-based system, it allows a single simulator station to be deployable anywhere there is connectivity using low cost, off-the-shelf hardware. Driver performance and training data are accessible for tracking, normative data analysis, and system improvements. The innovation lies not in the simulator, but the creation and mining of the resulting cloud-based database. Not only can commercial entities use this database to screen individual drivers for deficiencies or areas that need improvement, but also to identify the shortcomings of the driver population as a whole. This system has the potential to be affordable and effective in reducing commercial driver crash rates. The immediate objectives are to: 1) improve or refresh the hazard perception skills of drivers, 2) increase driver awareness of safety issues involving driver distraction, fatigue, and impairment, 3) introduce new drivers to the specific driving environments and hazards associated with their job tasks and vehicle configuration, and 4) provide organizations a cost-effective means of deploying and managing this simulation-based training system. To evaluate these objectives, a pilot study (N = 16) will be performed using a pre/post-test design with a prototype system. Training effectiveness will be measured using a variety of assessment routines: driving simulation, videos, slides, surveys. Additional surveys and interviews will evaluate system usability. Given that feasibility of the proposed approach has been effectively demonstrated in Phase I, a Phase II program that features full prototype development and an efficacy study will be proposed. The Phase II study will aim to quantify transfer of training to on-road behaviors. Potential Phase II partners include the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute, which has a significant expertise in the collection of on-road naturalistc driver data using low cost instrumentation and advanced data collection and archival systems.