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Co-DAS: Developing a Co-Driver Assistance System to Reduce Passenger Discomfort

Sandra Ittner, Dominik Mühlbacher, Mark Vollrath, Thomas Weisswange, "Co-DAS: Developing a Co-Driver Assistance System to Reduce Passenger Discomfort ", Frontiers in Psychology, vol. 14, pp. 17, 2023.


The front seat passenger is often neglected when developing support systems for cars. There exist few examples of systems that provide information or interaction possibilities specifically to those passengers. Previous research indicated that the passive role of the passenger can frequently lead to a feeling of discomfort, potentially caused by missing information and missing control with respect to the driving situation. This paper proposes a variety of prototypical passenger assistance systems that target different aspects of the cognitive processes which could cause the feeling of discomfort. In a simulator study with N = 40 participants, these systems were investigated with respect to their influence on measures of discomfort. Participants experienced different car following and braking scenarios on the highway with different time headways, with and without one of the passenger assistance systems. Based on the subjective measures, three systems were identified as particularly useful in reducing discomfort. For the best of these proposals, more than 63 % of the passengers confirmed the usefulness of the approach and reported an interest in using it in their vehicle. This demonstrates significant opportunities to improve the everyday driving experience beyond classical assistant systems by explicitly taking into account the needs of the passengers.

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