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Transportation Research Part F 35 (2015) 1627

Contents lists available at ScienceDirect

Transportation Research Part F


journal homepage: www.elsevier.com/locate/trf

Using an Advance Time Meter display as means to reduce


driving speed q
David Navon , Ronen Kasten
The University of Haifa, Haifa, Israel

a r t i c l e i n f o a b s t r a c t

Article history: Objective: Testing an experimental means to reduce motivation to drive fast.
Received 16 December 2014 Background: One determinant of that motivation may be a wrong presumption, demon-
Received in revised form 24 June 2015 strated here: Time to reach destination declines about linearly to increase in driving speed.
Accepted 16 September 2015
Actually, that time is a linear function of advance time, the inverse of speed. It is hypothe-
Available online 3 October 2015
sized that the behavioral by-product of the popularity of that fallacy could be counteracted
by introducing an essential change to the speed-based continuous feedback provided to the
Keywords:
driver from a speedometer displaying instantaneous velocity to a gauge reporting
Speeding behavior
Motivation to speed
advance time (denoted ATM), so that both average driving speed and speed variance are
Reduction in driving speed reduced.
Speed-related feedback Method: In two driving simulator experiments, driving speed of participants presented
Speedometer with either of the two types of gauge was recorded.
Average road speed Results: The main finding is that driving with feedback provided by an ATM gauge follow-
ing prior briefing led to a significant reduction 11 km/h in mean speed, as well as to a
significant reduction in between-driver speed variability, as compared with driving with an
ordinary speedometer. It was also found that no significant difference was observed in the
speeding behavior of participants driving with an ATM display for three 2-h sessions
administered in three different days, so that the last session took place within seven days
from the first one.
Conclusion: The ATM gauge serves to reduce motivation to speed.
Application: Widespread use of the ATM gauge may result in reduction in number and
intensity of accidents.
2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

1. Introduction

Expressway driving incurs a cost of many fatal accidents. A considerable percentage of them may be blamed on speeding.
The slogan speed kills is founded on a very sound basis. Excessive speed considerably compromises the control of the car
by the driver during emergency. For example, braking distance (namely, the distance traveled by the car from the moment
the brake pedal is pressed on to complete stop) is directly related to square velocity. Furthermore, enhanced driving speed

q
Precis: Changing speed-based continuous feedback provided to drivers in a simulator from a speedometer to a gauge reporting advance time served
to considerably reduce both average driving speed and speed variance. Widespread use of that novel gauge may lead to reduction in number and intensity
of accidents.
Corresponding author at: Department of Psychology, The University of Haifa, Haifa 31905, Israel. Tel.: +972 4 8240927; fax: +972 4 8240966.
E-mail address: dnavon@psy.haifa.ac.il (D. Navon).

http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.trf.2015.09.003
1369-8478/ 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
D. Navon, R. Kasten / Transportation Research Part F 35 (2015) 1627 17

greatly increases the physical impact of an accident on the body. Indeed, it is well documented (e.g., Elvik & Vaa, 2004) that
speeds higher than the average substantially increases crash involvement rate and rate of injuries in accidents.
The customary way of combating deviant driving speeds on expressways is by legislation that calls driving with a speed
that exceeds a certain limit an offense and prescribes a range of penalties for it. However, the effectiveness of that penalty-
based regime is limited, primarily because the difficulty of enforcing it renders smaller the risk of being caught. Drivers per-
ception that the risk is negligible enough to be almost ignored must be aggravated by the human disposition to underweight
long-shot threats (e.g., Barron & Erev, 2003; Yechiam & Busemeyer, 2006) or even suppress or deny them (e.g. Vaillant,
1992). Another factor that might contribute to that disposition is the limited effectiveness of heavy penalties in controlling
behavior (see, e.g., Erev & Haruvy, 2009), if not of extrinsic motivation in general (Deci & Ryan, 1985; Dickinson, 1989; but
see Eisenberger & Cameron, 1996).
It, thus, makes sense to invest more in looking for ways to directly tap the intrinsic motivation of the driver concerning
road speed. To do that, it would be most useful to figure out what is it that underlies the temptation to speed.
We set out from the working assumption that a major apparent reason for speeding is a presumption (mostly tacit, but
perhaps often explicit) commonly made by drivers that the time to reach destination (TRD, for short) declines proportionally
(or at least, more or less proportionally) to increase in driving speed. Actually, that widespread surmise is wrong, surprising
as that may seem for many people: The time to reach destination is rather the aggregate of momentary values of advance
time (AT, for short), which is the inverse of speed (thus may be measured in s/km, short of seconds per km). The relation of
TRD to speed, being the inverse of AT, is not linear; TRD rather declines progressively less as speed increases, as illustrated
in Fig. 1 (for the simple case of constant speed throughout journey). For example, whereas accelerating from 50 km/h to
100 km/h yields a 90-min reduction in the time to reach a destination that is at the time 150 km (see points a and c, respec-
tively, accelerating from 100 km/h to 150 km/h yields a 30-min reduction in the time to reach that destination ahead (see
points c and e, respectively). Similarly, whereas accelerating from 50 km/h to 60 km/h yields a 30-min reduction in TRD
(see points a and b, respectively), accelerating from 100 km/h to 110 km/h yields an only 7.5-min reduction in TRD (see
points c and d, respectively).

1.1. Pretest of the working assumption

To get some assurance that people really hold that erroneous surmise, we had two RAs approach some passers-by, in two
separate arenas a large mall and a central bus station, asking them to volunteer a moment of their time for answering an
easy riddle for a study. Respondents (24 who claimed to have a valid driving license) were then told the following:
Please give me your quick gut reactions to the following: Suppose you drive to a destination 60 km away on an empty
road. If you drove at 60 km/h speed, you of course would reach there in an hour.
Suppose you accelerate by 30 km/h; quick and straight from the gut: About how much time would you spare? ____.
Now suppose you accelerate by 30 km/h more; quick and straight from the gut: About how much more time would you
spare? ____.
Across respondents, the mean estimate of spared time due to the first acceleration (26.75 min) was not significantly
higher, actually slightly lower, (t(23) = .85; p > .40) than the mean estimate of spared time due to the second acceleration
(30.0 min). Out of 24 respondents, 10 provided lower estimates for the first acceleration, six provided equal estimates for
both, and only eight provided higher estimates for the first acceleration. Out of the latter eight, only one provided the correct
estimates (20 min vs 10 min), four provided the same ratio but incorrect values (30 min vs 15 min), and the remaining three
provided neither correct values nor a correct ratio. It thus seems that a heavy majority of drivers must have a very wrong
idea about the effect of acceleration, as conjectured above.

1.2. A possible countermeasure

Could that wrong idea be uprooted just by rational argumentation and/or mass indoctrination? We doubt it. Countering
habits mediated by primarily-automatic behavior would better be coupled also with some accordant switch in the provision
of pertinent ongoing information (see Logan, 1985, 1997), preferably in the framework of a fixed reinforcement schedule (see
Yukl, Latham, & Pursell, 1976). It thus appears reasonable that moving drivers to relate more realistically to the extent by
which speeding may promote her TRD objective requires also a substantive revision in the ongoing speed-relevant feedback
made available in her vehicle.
Accordingly, our research hypothesis is that the effect of that popular erroneous surmise can be counteracted, perhaps
even eradicated, by introducing a drastic alteration in the nature of speed-based continuous feedback provided to the driver
in her car from a gauge that provides to the driver analog and digital feedback regarding instantaneous velocity (the famil-
iar speedometer) to a gauge providing feedback (also both analog and digital) about advance time (Advance Time Meter; ATM,
for short). These ideas are elaborated on in the subsection below.

1.2.1. The rationale behind using an ATM display


Motor vehicles are equipped with speedometers for two main reasons. One reason is to afford drivers information needed
for driving within speed limit. Another reason, not less important in terms of the psychology of the driver and perhaps more
18 D. Navon, R. Kasten / Transportation Research Part F 35 (2015) 1627

TRD (in min) for a


destination that is 150
km away
900

750

600

450

300
a
b
150 c d
e
45
0
10 50 100 150 200
Speed (in km h)

Fig. 1. The function relating time to reach destination (TRD) to speed assuming, for simplicity, constant speed.

so, is that momentary speed is perceived by drivers as the information essential for getting an idea of the time to reach their
destination, planning it en route, possibly on the fly, as well as maneuvering it by accelerating or decelerating vehicle speed.
The irony is that speed (namely, distance per unit time) is not the ideal measure for that purpose. Albeit indeed relevant
to TRD (time to reach destination; see above), it is not at all proportional to it, as demonstrated in Fig. 1 above. When a driver
seeks to know to what extent pressing the gas pedal contributes to shortening TRD, the pertinent information is rather the
measure we denote AT (advance time; see above), defined as the ratio time/distance (namely, the inverse of the ratio dis-
tance/time which defines speed), expressed, e.g., by seconds per km (s/km; see above).
Any momentary value of AT directly adds to the aggregate which constitutes TRD. Thus, TRD is directly determined by
mean AT (across distance units traveled), as illustrated in Fig. 2. To simplify the explanation, let us consider a case in which
AT is constant throughout the entire journey, at least the part of it yet to be traveled. If, for example, the driver is at a
moment yet 150 km short of her destination, maintaining constantly an advance time of 72 s/km would result in her reach-
ing destination within three hours (see point c in Fig. 2), maintaining constantly an advance time of 48 s/km would result in
her reaching destination within two hours (see point b in Fig. 2), and maintaining constantly an advance time of 24 s/km
would result in her reaching destination just one hour (see point a in Fig. 2).
The conventional use of speedometers to obtain feedback about the momentary effectiveness of ongoing travel vis-a-vis
the goal of reaching destination at desired time is not useful enough, worse yet it is misleading. Since speed is the arith-
metic reciprocal of AT (see illustration in Fig. 3), hence by definition deviates highly from linearity in it, TRD is a decreasing
quadratic function of speed. Hence, any given increment in speed yields a diminishing return on reducing TRD (as made evi-
dent in Fig. 1, and explained thereabout).
However, as illustrated in Fig. 2, any given change in AT yields a proportionate change in TRD, regardless of AT prior to that
change. For example, throughout the AT domain, reducing AT by 10 s/km yields a 25-min reduction in time to reach a des-
tination that is 150 km away.
Hence, it makes much more sense to provide the driver with a display of AT. This can be implemented by a gauge that we
call ATM, short for Advance Time Meter (see above) a needle whose angular deviation from the origin is proportional to AT.
An ATM gauge shows the momentary contribution to affect TRD. For example, if at the moment the car is yet 150 km short of
destination, maintaining a constant advance time of 72 s/km would result in reaching destination within three hours, main-
taining a constant advance time of 48 s/km would result in arrival within two hours, and maintaining a constant advance
time of 24 s/km would result in arrival within one hour.
We designed two different types of an ATM gauge (see Fig. 4A and B). In both of those types we augmented the informa-
tion mediated by needle orientation by means of coloring1 the segment of the circular stripe on the circumference of the circle
extending from the origin (representing AT corresponding to the minimal speed) to the locus pointed by the needle. The ratio of
the uncolored remainder to the entire range of the stripe visually indicates the rate of saving in TRD due to acceleration, since it
equals the ratio of TRD given the AT pointed to by the needle (provided it remains so till the end of the journey) to TRD given the
AT corresponding to minimal speed. The AT corresponding to speed limit is marked by a red line (at the bottom right), which
may be used by the driver to avert violating speed limit. It may be advisable to further augment that display with a digital pre-

1
For interpretation of color in Fig. 4, the reader is referred to the web version of this article.
D. Navon, R. Kasten / Transportation Research Part F 35 (2015) 1627 19

TRD (in
min) for a
destination 900
that is 150
km away 750

600

450

300
c
150
b
a
45
18 105 192 279 360
AT (in s/km)

Fig. 2. The function relating time to reach destination (TRD) to advance time (AT) assuming, for simplicity, constant AT.

AT
(in s/km)
360

18
10 50 100 150 200
Speed (in km/h)

Fig. 3. The function relating advance time (AT) to speed.

sentation of time still remaining to reach destination (assuming the car is equipped with software that could be fed the distance
to destination at trip outset).
To the extent that the driver is primarily motivated by the intention to reach destination as soon as possible, such a feed-
back indicator may be effective in inhibiting to a considerable extent her impulse to speed, because it both illustrates com-
pellingly the diminishing marginal utility from acceleration, and propels the needle to the end of the scale even in case speed
is not very high. To illustrate, note that an AT corresponding to a speed of 100 km/h (namely, 36 s/km) is marked by a notch
only a few deg short of the end of the scale (as can be seen in Fig. 4B, and more evidently in Fig. 4A), a region where incre-
ments to needle orientation are both hard to come by and barely visible, hence affects both rational reasoning and pre-
rational intuitive judgment. That apparent redundancy may turn out to be advantageous, since rapid, routine decision mak-
ing most probably depend on both systems of reasoning (Kahneman, 2003).
To the extent that speeding is thereby avoided, speed variance (both within-driver and between-drivers) is likely to
somewhat decrease. That is bound to potently reduce the rate of accidents and their average severity (see theoretical anal-
ysis in Navon, 2003).
Finally, such a consequential transformation in the way speed-related feedback is delivered clearly requires guiding dri-
vers in driving lessons, preventive driving courses, or even public television not only on how to interpret what they may
see on the novel gauge, but also about the implication of the new perspective on the control of car speeding, regarding
advance time as a most prominent feedback.
20 D. Navon, R. Kasten / Transportation Research Part F 35 (2015) 1627

ATM-1 Display Fixed Intervals of speed


(A)

ATM-2 Display Fixed Intervals of Time


(B)

Ordinary Speedometer Display


(C)
Fig. 4. Three types of speed-related feedback gauge used in Experiment 1 (see text): ATM-1, ATM-2, an ordinary speedometer.
D. Navon, R. Kasten / Transportation Research Part F 35 (2015) 1627 21

1.2.2. The present study of ATM effect on driving: A short preview


In this study we explored by means of a driving simulator possible advantages of using an ATM gauge, of the two types
illustrated in Fig. 4A and B, as sources of feedback relating to speed and TRD, and examined their effectiveness by analyzing
several aspects of the data, mainly regarding average speed and speed variability. Examples of displays that might appear on
any one of two types is presented Fig. 4A and B; an example of the corresponding display on an ordinary speedometer is
presented in Fig. 4C.
Two experiments were conducted in the reported study. In the first one, driving speeds of participants who drove the
simulator having an ATM gauge, in the two display versions presented in Fig. 4A and B, were recorded, then compared to
driving speeds of participants driving with a simulator having an ordinary speedometer, presented in Fig. 4C. In the second
experiment, we manipulated amount of time allowed for adjusting to, and practicing, driving with an ATM display.

2. Experiment 1

In this experiment, the effects of two different types of ATM displays on drivers road behavior were tested, both with
respect to behavior with an ordinary speedometer display. The objective was to test the presence and extent of effects of
using ATM gauges on measures of central tendency and variability of driving speed.
Three types of display were used between participant groups: (a) ATM-1 A display that presents advance time in s/km
(sec per km), where the scale marks are spaced in fixed intervals of speed (e.g., every 10 km/h from 10 to 200), (b) ATM-2 A
display that presents advance time in s/km (sec per km), where the scale marks are spaced in fixed intervals of time (e.g.,
every 18 s/km from 18 to 360), (c) an ordinary speedometer.
The hypothesis tested in the experiment was that driving with an ATM gauge, in at least one of the two types tested in
this experiment, would be characterized by lower speed average and lower speed variability (both between drivers and
within drivers).

2.1. Method

2.1.1. Apparatus, stimuli and procedure


The participant sat in front of a 20-in. screen of an SGI-brand CRT computer. Driving was done with a Logitech steering
wheel and pedals (model 25G). A Pentium-4 IBM processor was used to run the simulator. The dynamic road environment
displayed on the screen was generated by torcs-1.3.0 program, which included added custom features programmed specif-
ically for the experiment. The dynamic environment also included virtual driving sound (in correspondence to pressing on
the gas pedal, as well as to changing gear) and a display of the rear outlook (as would be reflected in an actual vehicle mirror).
The front view included both a speed-related feedback display, corresponding to experimental condition and stage, as well as
a meter showing digitally the time left to the end of each road segment. The program produced listing of important param-
eters regarding driving, e.g., driving speed recorded by the second, deviations from the driving lane, driving collisions,
overtaking events, a fine on exceeding speed limit in case such an offense was committed.
The participant was notified once showing up for the experiment that she was about to partake in an experiment involv-
ing driving a virtual vehicle. Initially, nothing was mentioned to the participants regarding the condition they were required
to drive in. In the first stage of the experiment, meant for acquiring satisfactory control of the steering wheel and pedals, the
participant was asked to practice driving with the simulator across a 20 km course. In that stage, participants in all condi-
tions drove with an ordinary speedometer gauge. Following the completion of the first practice stage, the participant was
given a condition-specific instruction sheet, in which she was instructed to drive additional six segments of the road, each
20 km in length, using the condition-specific feedback display to which she was assigned, maintaining the same time care to
observe a number of traffic laws (mainly, abiding by the 110 km/h speed limit, staying within driving lane, remaining off
shoulder, overtaking safely). The first road segment of those six was also considered as practice, since participants in the
ATM conditions were first introduced to the ATM display at the stage of driving in that segment. The remaining five ones
were considered experimental, and data arising from them were included in the analyses. The written instructions given
to participants in the speedometer group and the ATM-2 group are presented in Appendix A, as an example. Instructions
given to participants in the ATM-1 group differ from the latter just in the description of the display.

2.1.2. Design
A single between-subject factor was manipulated display type, as described above. Segment was considered a within-
subject factor. The dependent variables were: (a) median of speed in each of the experimental road segments, (b) mean abso-
lute distance from the median in each segment (calculated by averaging absolute differences between per-second speed
measurement and the median speed in that segment). Further analyses were conducted on parameters of between-
subject distributions, described below.

2.1.3. Participants
Fifty-six paid participants took part in the experiment: 24 of them were assigned to the ordinary speedometer condition,
16 to the ATM-1 condition, and the remaining 16 to the ATM-2 condition. Gender was balanced within all conditions so
22 D. Navon, R. Kasten / Transportation Research Part F 35 (2015) 1627

that all had an equal number of males and females. All participants had a driving permit. They were asked each to report six
individual variables, mostly related to their driving habits or history: Age (M = 25.29, SD = 2.90), time (in years) since permit
was endowed (M = 6.83, SD = 2.87), ownership of any motor vehicle (55.4% own such a vehicle), frequency of driving in terms
of number of days per week (35.7% every day, 28.6% 34 times a week), estimated total of km driven per month
(M = 352.29, SD = 214.75), whether or not they mostly drive out of town (30.4% mostly in town, 35.7% about equally
in town and out).

2.2. Results and discussion

Mixed between-within two-way ANOVAs were conducted. The independent variables were: (a) display type (ATM-1,
ATM-2, ordinary speedometer), manipulated between subjects, (b) road segment (not including the practice segments). The
dependent variables were: (a) per-subject median speed, (b) per-subject mean absolute distance from her median speed.
In the median speed analysis, a significant main effect was found both for display type, F(2, 53) = 3.92, p < 0.05,
Mse = 1048.68, and for segment, F(4, 212) = 8.22, p < 0.0001, Mse = 45.59. The interaction between type of display and seg-
ment was not found significant, F(8, 212) = 1.26, p = 0.27, Mse = 45.59.
The small, yet significant, rise in mean speed with time (indicated by the uptrend of the segment factor) could be simply
arise from some gradual slack in participants willingness to abide by speed limit and/or pursue the lesson about speeding
entailed by the instructions. After all, that was meant to outweigh the natural impetus to enjoy the opportunity of fast ride
on the simulated road, in view of the seeming small risk of being caught. As for the effect of display type, post hoc analyses
showed that there were significant differences (at the .05 level) between each of the ATM display type conditions and the
ordinary speedometer condition. The results are presented in Table 1. As can be seen there, mean median speed across seg-
ments in the ordinary speedometer condition was found to be about 11 km/h higher than mean median speed across seg-
ments in any of the other conditions.
In the analysis of per-subject mean absolute distance from her median speed, on the other hand, no significant effect was
found: Main effects of display type and segment were far from being significant (F < 1). The interaction between segment and
display type was found short of significance as well, F(8, 212) = 1.52, p = 0.16, Mse = 4.81.
A further analysis was conducted to examine differences due to display type in several parameters of between-subject dis-
tributions of a central tendency measure of speed (the per-subject mean of median speed values across the five segments).
Parameter values are presented in Table 2.
The values of all five parameters are lower in any of the ATM versions than in the ordinary speedometer one. The signif-
icance of the differences in means and medians follow from the ANOVAs reported above. As for the two between-subject
dispersion measures, statistical tests were conducted for each parameter to find out whether the differences between values
across the two versions of ATM combined and values in the speedometer display were significant. The difference in standard
deviations was found significant, F(1, 54) = 4.46, p < 0.05, by Levenes test. Yet, an ANOVA conducted to compare the differ-
ence between the two measures of absolute distance from the median (actually, the speed mean of the subject having the
median value of per-subject speed means) showed no significant effect, F(1, 54) = 1.86, p = 0.18, Mse = 108.57. The difference
in proportions of deviant participants (25.0% vs 3.1%) was found significant, Z = 2.50, p = 0.014.
Thus, the data indicate a considerable contribution of using an ATM gauge to reduction in average speed as well as an
indication for some concomitant modest reduction in between-subject speed dispersion.
No significant difference, not even a trend, was found between display type conditions with respect to any of the reported
individual subjects variables (see above in participants section).

2.2.1. Source of the display type effects


Since all subjects must have been highly motivated to avoid speeding fines, it does not seem likely that the effects are
simply due to subjects in the speedometer condition having paid scanter attention to the gauge. Yet, finer analyses should
be more informative about their source.
A further analysis, that does include practice segments, was conducted to disentangle the impact of condition-specific
instructions (given right after the first practice segment) and the impact of the fresh experience of actually driving for a while
with a novel display.
As can be seen in Table 1, mean per-subject median speed decreased substantively, F(1, 54) = 65.77, p < 0.0001,
Mse = 390.91, and mean per-subject mean absolute distance from her median speed moderately, F(1, 54) = 34.19,
p < 0.0001, Mse = 25.90, from the first to the second practice segment. That must be due to the introduction of specific
instructions prior to the second segment. The latter effect, but not the former (F < 1), seems to interact with the condition
being larger in the ordinary speedometer condition, F(1, 54) = 3.99, p < 0.05, Mse = 25.90, than in the pooled data of both
ATM conditions.
A further significant decrease, from the second practice segment to the first experimental one, were observed only in the
ATM conditions, F(1, 31) = 21.51, p < 0.0001, Mse = 237.59 (whereas, F < 1 in the speedometer condition). The interaction
between condition and practice was significant, F(1, 54) = 15.24. p < 0.001, Mse = 143.14. The significant decrease must be
due to a quite rapid learning, during the segment in which subjects first encountered the novel type of feedback display, that
acceleration yields progressively smaller returns to TRD reduction. That lesson seems to be quite more effective than could
be any verbal lecturing about that.
D. Navon, R. Kasten / Transportation Research Part F 35 (2015) 1627 23

Table 1
Mean median speed and mean absolute distance from median speed in Experiment 1, by segment and display type.

Segment Average across


all five
segments
First Second Segment Segment Segment Segment Segment
practice practice 1 2 3 4 5
Ordinary speedometer Median speed 143.28 111.99 111.96 111.78 113.83 113.65 114.79 113.20
N = 24 Mean absolute 15.78 7.94 6.54 7.12 6.81 6.64 6.28 7.54
distance from
speed median
ATM-1 Median speed 143.88 116.37 96.41 102.06 102.23 104.45 107.22 102.47
N = 16 Mean absolute 18.74 14.20 8.87 7.83 7.04 7.20 6.79 7.55
distance
from speed median
ATM-2 Median speed 145.77 114.15 98.36 98.95 102.36 103.54 106.91 102.02
N = 16 Mean absolute 15.61 12.24 5.94 5.49 5.96 6.83 6.39 6.12
distance
from speed median

Table 2
Values of five parameters of the speed distributions in Experiment 1, for each of the displays and across displays.

Parameter Ordinary speedometer ATM-1 ATM-2 ATM across displays


N 24 16 16 32
Mean speed 113.20 102.02 102.47 102.24
Median speed 109.55 102.24 102.99 102.74
Standard deviation of speed 18.58 9.90 10.67 10.13
Absolute distance from speed median 11.99 7.80 8.47 8.16
Number (and percentage) of participants whose median speed is above 120 (25%) 6 (0%) 0 (6.25%) 1 (3.13%) 1

2.2.2. Could there have been some speed-quality tradeoff artifact?


Conceivably, the effect of display type on driving speed could have something to do with some cost due to driving with
any of the two unfamiliar display types (or both). A cost of that sort might have presumably interfered in some way with
driving quality. To examine that, we measured for each participant two presumable cost variables: (a) mean absolute dis-
tance from per-block median position on the road breadth axis, (b) number of road-to-rim (either right or left rim)
digressions.
In the analysis of the first variable, no significant main effect was found for display type, F(2, 53) = 1.682, p = 0.20,
Mse = .396. The same is true for the analysis of the second variable, F(2, 53) = 1.089, p = 0.34, Mse = 517. Though in both pre-
sumable cost variables, the mean was seen to be somewhat higher in the speedometer condition, that apparent effect was
found to be due to the data of two out of 24 subjects in that condition. The conditions turned to be even more alike when
those data were removed. Thus, the effect of display type on driving speed is most probably not due to any artifact of the
suspected sort.

2.2.3. Brief summary


All in all, speed was found to be lower on the average while driving with an ATM gauge. As argued above, that must have
been due to actually driving with the novel type of gauge rather than to its introduction in the specific instructions. By that
very fact, the effect of gauge type could not be due to any variant of the experimenters effect (see, e.g., Rosenthal, 1966): As
can be seen in Appendix A, the condition-specific instructions did not differ with respect to implications of, neither attitude
to, speeding.

3. Experiment 2

The results of Experiment 1 provide some evidence that using an ATM gauge is likely to reduce average driving speed. It
still remains to be probe whether the effect is lasting, minimally to check whether it lasts for more than a single session.
Should the effect be found to last, that would render superfluous interpretations in terms of the experimenter effect
(Rosenthal, 1966) or some kind of novelty preference (see Berlyne, 1970). To do that, driving behavior was observed in this
24 D. Navon, R. Kasten / Transportation Research Part F 35 (2015) 1627

experiment over a longer period of time three sessions in three days. Since the effects of the two types of ATM displays
observed in Experiment 1 were practically very similar, we used just one of them ATM-2 in Experiment 2.

3.1. Method

Apparatus, stimuli and procedure were basically identical to those of the ATM-2 condition in Experiment 1, with one dif-
ference: Each participant was observed driving for three 2-h sessions administered in three different days (two hours each
time). The three sessions were planned so the last session would take place within seven days from the first one. The first
session was identical in all respects with the corresponding session in Experiment 1. In subsequent sessions subjects started
directly with the second practice segment, since practice with the simulator (using an ordinary speedometer) deemed
unnecessary.

3.1.1. Participants
Sixteen participants participated in the experiment in return for payment. Gender was balanced. As in Experiment
1, all participants had a driving permit. The means of the variables they reported turned out to be quite similar to
those reported in Experiment 1: Age (M = 25.66, SD = 3.49), time (in years) since permit was endowed (M = 7.06,
SD = 2.33), ownership of any motor vehicle (62.5% own such a vehicle), frequency of driving in terms of number of
days per week (43.8% every day, 43.8% 34 times a week), estimated total of km driven per month
(M = 402.66, SD = 364.96), whether or not they mostly drive out of town (31.3% mostly in town, 43.8% about
equally in town and out).

3.2. Results and discussion

Within-subject two-way ANOVAs were conducted on data from this experiment.


The independent variables were: (a) session, (b) road segment (not including the practice segments). The dependent vari-
ables were: (a) per-subject median speed, (b) per-subject mean absolute distance from her median.
The results are presented in Table 3.
In the median speed analysis, significant main effects were found both of segment, F(4, 60) = 5.74, p < 0.001, Mse = 26.74,
and of session, F(2, 30) = 4.93, p < 0.01, Mse = 172.45. The interaction between segment and session was also found signifi-
cant, F(8, 120) = 3.50, p < 0.001, Mse = 23.22.
As can be seen in the table, whereas a gradual, moderate increase in median speed from segment to segment (from 94 in
segment 1 to 105 in segment 5; F(4, 60) = 9.97, p < 0.0001, Mse = 30.17, in post hoc analysis) was observed in the first ses-
sion (similarly to the trend observed in the ATM-2 condition of Experiment 1), no such increase (F < 1) was found in later
sessions. As suggested above, in the Results and Discussion section of Experiment 1, some rate of increase is a non-
surprising outcome of natural wear in participants willingness to follow the lesson about speeding entailed by the instruc-
tions. Yet, it seems that participants tend to be more self-disciplined in later sessions, which may be an encouraging conclu-
sion. Anyhow, mean median speeds in the last segments of each of the three sessions were about the same 105.29, 106.35,
and 107.43 (F < 1).
In the analysis of per-subject mean absolute distance from her median speed, main effects were found significant for both
segment, F(4, 60) = 7.52, p < 0.0001, Mse = 16.38, and session, F(2, 30) = 37.92, p < 0.0001, Mse = 32.55. The interaction
between segment and session was also found significant, F(8, 120) = 6.21, p < 0.0001, Mse = 14.81. In the first session, a sig-
nificant gradual decline in this measure from segment to segment was found, F(4, 60) = 8.98, p < 0.0001 Mse = 32.89. In the
two other sessions, no significant effect like that was found (F < 1). Overall, unlike median speed, this dependent variable
measuring speed dispersion progressively declined from session to session.
In sum, the advantage of the ATM gauge in terms of median speed seems to be more or less maintained over time, and its
advantage in terms of reduction of speed dispersion seems to even increase with time, at least within the frame used in this
experiment.
A further analysis was conducted to examine differences due to driving environment in several parameters of between-
subject distributions of a central tendency measure of speed (the per-subject mean of median speed values across the five
segments). Parameter values are presented in Table 4. Since in the first session the segment variable was found to have a
considerable effect, the analysis of the mean absolute distance from median measure was conducted only on the mean of
the two final segments (4 and 5) in each session.
Analysis of median speed did not show a significant effect of session, F < 1. The difference in standard deviations was nei-
ther found significant, F < 1, by Levenes test, nor was the difference in absolute distance from the medians, F < 1. The differ-
ence in proportions of deviant participants between session 1 and session 2 (the proportions of sessions 1 and 3 were equal
anyhow) was neither found significant, Z = 0.487, p = .63.
Thus, it seems fair to summarize that no differences were found in any of the parameters between the three sessions.
Note, that result was obtained despite the existence of several possible factors that could have led to a pattern of driving
wilder in later sessions, for example some rate of wear over sessions of the motivation to comply with instructions, or a grad-
ual decrease in fear of being caught exceeding speed limit.
D. Navon, R. Kasten / Transportation Research Part F 35 (2015) 1627 25

Table 3
Average distance from median and median speed by segment and session in Experiment 2.

Segment Average across all First


five segments Practice
First Second Segment Segment Segment Segment Segment
practice practice 1 2 3 4 5
First session Median speed 121.46 98.75 94.99 98.05 102.32 104.21 105.29 100.97 104.74
N = 16 Mean absolute 26.76 22.82 16.33 16.89 12.45 10.35 6.56 12.51 8.45
distance from speed
median
Second session Median speed 115.52 104.74 104.97 104.79 105.15 106.35 105.20 105.75
N = 16 Mean absolute distance 17.42 8.64 9.01 8.86 8.23 7.08 8.36 7.66
from speed median
Third session Median speed 123.37 106.52 106.80 108.16 108.00 107.43 107.38 107.71
N = 16 Mean absolute distance 9.04 4.10 4.56 5.07 4.78 4.81 4.67 4.80
from speed median

Table 4
Participants central speed tendencies distribution parameters (across participants in the two final driving segments in each session of Experiment 2; in the last
row, participants distribution of average absolute distance from median measure).

Parameter ATM-2 ATM-2 ATM-2


First session Second session Third session
N 16 16 16
Mean speed 104.74 105.75 107.73
Median speed 103.06 103.13 103.68
Standard deviation of speed 17.32 18.22 17.51
Absolute distance from speed median 13.67 12.51 11.49
Number (and percentage) of participants whose median speed is above 120 (18.75%) 3 (12.13%) 2 (18.75%) 3

4. General discussion

The experiments reported above yielded two main findings: (a) The ATM gauge served to reduce mean driving
speed, by about 11 km/h with respect to that obtained with an ordinary speedometer. Speed variance was modestly
reduced as well. Driving quality was not compromised at all. (b) The parameters of driving speed distributions using
an ATM gauge were quite little changed over time in participants that drove in three separate sessions administered in
different days.
The finding that mean driving speed with the ATM gauge was not only lower than driving speed with an ordinary
speedometer but also more regular, coupled with the finding that no driving quality tradeoff was observed, must indicate
that the reason subjects in the ATM conditions slowed down was not due to increase in processing load. Though having
to use the novel gauge might have indeed increased that load, at least initially, the upgrade in driving performance despite
that putative increase even adds some more credence to the hypothesized advantage of the ATM gauge. The robustness of
performance over considerable time gaps suggests that the ATM advantage is most probably not due to some kind of ephem-
eral novelty effect.
Since the ATM gauge was designed to provide exactly the same information as that provided by an ordinary speedometer,
only on a different scale, the advantage of using it seems quite well substantiated. Furthermore, it seems unlikely to be due to
biases such as the experimenter effect or any kind of novelty preference. Most important, average speed was found to be
considerably reduced by using an ATM gauge. That effect was large enough to outweigh a quite expected erosion of the moti-
vation of participants to follow the logic being instructed about, due to the understandable urge of few or many participants
to enjoy the opportunity of fast ride on the simulated road.
It seems that the effectiveness of the ATM display in mediating speed reduction stems from the coupling of both rational
reasoning and pre-rational intuitive judgment. The impact of instructing drivers that TRD is proportionate to AT rather than
to speed, brief as it was, must have had a considerable value for unlearning old habits of speed control. Still, a stronger
impact was perhaps applied by confronting the hitherto-never-met sensorimotor experience that the habitual way of the
driver to initiate progress on the road by pressing on the gas pedal yields smaller and smaller visible increments to whatever
is represented on the novel feedback display AT, up to what could be sensed as sticky needle.
More research on a variety of effects of various versions of the ATM gauge is clearly needed before an initiative to apply
such a gauge on the road is attempted. Following that, some kind of field study would be clearly necessary. If the findings
26 D. Navon, R. Kasten / Transportation Research Part F 35 (2015) 1627

obtained in the laboratory prove in the future to be replicated on the road, then provided the use of such devices is suffi-
ciently widespread, that may result in a sizable reduction in the number of accidents as well as in their intensity. A digital
presentation of speed may also be useful, at least to help drivers keep from exceeding speed limit. Such a presentation may
be additionally helpful for driving in urban roads, in which due to the numerous reasons for slowing down or halting the car,
there is no much point that the driver tries to adjust car speed by considering her desirable TRD.
Yet, should such an application be in some foreseeable future regarded to be promising, what are the chances that it would
actually be implemented for wide use? An obvious practical problem is that car manufacturers are likely to be reluctant to
replace the traditional means of feedback about car speed (namely, speedometers) with novel ones (namely, an ATM gauge)
without getting firm evidence, approved by transportation authorities, that such an extreme change is justified, and at least
benign. To bypass that problem, ATM gauges may be for the meantime installed in addition to ordinary speedometers, accom-
panied by a public campaign to instruct drivers about how to use them and what they imply about desirable speed.

Acknowledgments

This research was supported by a grant from the Research Fund of the Insurance Companies Association (in Israel) to
David Navon. We are indebted to Yuval Shimoni as well as to Asaf Shapira for programming the simulator and the exper-
iments, to Amit Pomerants for assistance in developing software for various implementation ends, as well as to Maayan Ben-
Eliezer, Aviv Ben-Shabat, Elad Gvirtz, Ziv Shina and Nadav Hirsch for running the experiments.

Appendix A

(Translated from the Hebrew original)


Instructions given before the first practice block:
Hello, in this experiment we are trying to study some characteristics of human behavior. We do not measure any aspect of
your skills.
As part of the experiment you will be asked to drive a virtual car.
In the first stage you will be given training in which you will learn to operate the steering wheel and the gas pedal, as well
as practice the operation of the system. During training you will be asked to drive in a 20 km road segment.
You are being asked to drive at the center of the lane, in a similar way to the way you drive on an ordinary road, with no
deviations and errors.
The time practice lasts depends on you. Since the length of the road is given, the faster you drive the earlier the practice
ends.
Instructions given before the first experimental block in the ordinary speedometer condition:
Now that you have already gained some practice in operating the system, you are ready for the experiment itself. Below
you will find instructions for performing the task and information about the way your payment will be determined.
The amount of the payment that you will receive at the end of the experiment is 70 NIS. During the experiment you will
drive on a road in which speed limit is 110 km/h, like in Highway 6. During the experiment, as it is in reality, the decision
about driving speed to take on every moment is yours only. During the experiment, as it is in reality, it is possible that if you
drive significantly faster than speed limit, you get caught and be fined, by NIS 32, which will be deducted from the total pay-
ment you are expected to receive at the end of the experiment. Yet, the chance of being fined is minute, as it matches the
chance that a driver actually driving on the highway for about an hour is caught excessively speeding and is served a ticket. If
by any chance you are nevertheless fined, that will be announced at the end of the experiment.
This part of the experiment will consist of six driving segments of 20 km each.
In this part, you are going to drive just like you did in the previous block.
Feedback about your driving is provided by the speedometer in front of you.
You are being asked to drive at the center of the lane, in a similar way to the way you drive on an ordinary road, with no
deviations and errors.
The time the experiment lasts depends on you. Since the length of the road is given, the faster you drive the earlier the
experiments ends.
We thank you in advance for concentration and cooperation.
Instructions given before the first experimental block in the ATM-2 condition:
Now that you have already gained some practice in operating the system, you are ready for the experiment itself. Below
you will find instructions for performing the task and information about the way your payment will be determined.
The amount of the payment that you will receive at the end of the experiment is 70 NIS. During the experiment you will
drive on a road in which speed limit is 110 km/h, like in Highway 6. During the experiment, as it is in reality, the decision
about driving speed to take on every moment is yours only. During the experiment, as it is in reality, it is possible that if you
drive significantly faster than speed limit, you get caught and be fined, by NIS 32, which will be deducted from the total pay-
ment you are expected to receive at the end of the experiment. Yet, the chance of being fined is minute, as it matches the
chance that a driver actually driving on the highway for about an hour is caught excessively speeding and is served a ticket. If
by any chance you are nevertheless fined, that will be announced at the end of the experiment.
D. Navon, R. Kasten / Transportation Research Part F 35 (2015) 1627 27

This part of the experiment will consist of six driving segments of 20 km each.
The first segment is meant to give you practice with using novel feedback display (which you will be shown later). So, if while
driving in it you exceed the speed limit and get caught, that will carry no implications on the payment you will receive at the end
of the experiment. Afterwards, in the five following segments, if you exceed the speed limit and get caught, a fine will be imposed.
At that stage, the feedback about your driving will be provided by means of a special display: The needle shows the
advance time (in seconds) per kilometer at the moment you are watching it. Side-by-side with the motion of the needle, a
circular orange stripe will be extending from the origin (at the bottom left) clockwise to the place where the needle is point-
ing at. At the bottom of the screen, to the left of the feedback display, you will see a digital presentation, indicating the time
in minutes remaining to reach destination in any given segment.
Time to reach destination will depend directly on momentary advance time. For example, when you are at the moment
30 km short of destination, if you maintain a constant advance time of 120 s per km, time to reach destination will be
60 min; if you maintain a constant advance time of 80 s per km, time to reach destination will be 40 min; if you maintain
a constant advance time of 40 s per km, time to reach destination will be 20 min.
Look at the following figure:

The red line marks the advance time corresponding to speed limit.
You are going to learn very soon that in this condition, accelerating by pressing the gas pedal results in progressively
smaller reduction in the advance time figure showing on the display (hence, also in the time to reaching destination). For
example, pressing intensity that reduces advance time from 360 s per km to 180 s per km (by 50%) will, if continued, result
in a reduction from 180 s per km to 120 s per km (by only 33%), and so forth: For example, applying the same pressing inten-
sity where advance time is 33 s per km will bear its reduction by 30 s per km (only 9%).
You are being asked to drive at the center of the lane, in a similar way to the way you drive on an ordinary road, with no
deviations and errors.
The time the experiment lasts depends on you. Since the length of the road is given, the faster you drive the earlier the
experiments ends.
We thank you in advance for concentration and cooperation.

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