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      Creating the Illusion of Sportiness: Evaluating Modified Throttle Mapping and Artificial Engine Sound for Electric Vehicles

      1 , 2 , 3 , 1 , 2 , 2 , 1

      Journal of Advanced Transportation

      Hindawi Limited

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          Abstract

          Modern computerized vehicles offer the possibility of changing vehicle parameters with the aim of creating a novel driving experience, such as an increased feeling of sportiness. For example, electric vehicles can be designed to provide an artificial sound, and the throttle mapping can be adjusted to give drivers the illusion that they are driving a sports vehicle (i.e., without altering the vehicle’s performance envelope). However, a fundamental safety-related question is how drivers perceive and respond to vehicle parameter adjustments. As of today, human-subject research on throttle mapping is unavailable, whereas research on sound enhancement is mostly conducted in listening rooms, which provides no insight into how drivers respond to the auditory cues. This study investigated how perceived sportiness and driving behavior are affected by adjustments in vehicle sound and throttle mapping. Through a within-subject simulator-based experiment, we investigated (1) Modified Throttle Mapping (MTM), (2) Artificial Engine Sound (AES) via a virtually elevated rpm, and (3) MTM and AES combined, relative to (4) a Baseline condition and (5) a Sports car that offered increased engine power. Results showed that, compared to Baseline, AES and MTM-AES increased perceived sportiness and yielded a lower speed variability in curves. Furthermore, MTM and MTM-AES caused higher vehicle acceleration than Baseline during the first second of driving away from a standstill. Mean speed and comfort ratings were unaffected by MTM and AES. The highest sportiness ratings and fastest driving speeds were obtained for the Sports car. In conclusion, the sound enhancement not only increased the perception of sportiness but also improved drivers’ speed control performance, suggesting that sound is used by drivers as functional feedback. The fact that MTM did not affect the mean driving speed indicates that drivers adapted their “gain” to the new throttle mapping and were not susceptible to risk compensation.

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              Driving speed and the risk of road crashes: a review.

              Driving speed is an important factor in road safety. Speed not only affects the severity of a crash, but is also related to the risk of being involved in a crash. This paper discusses the most important empirical studies into speed and crash rate with an emphasis on the more recent studies. The majority of these studies looked at absolute speed, either at individual vehicle level or at road section level. Respectively, they found evidence for an exponential function and a power function between speed and crash rate. Both types of studies found evidence that crash rate increases faster with an increase in speed on minor roads than on major roads. At a more detailed level, lane width, junction density, and traffic flow were found to interact with the speed-crash rate relation. Other studies looked at speed dispersion and found evidence that this is also an important factor in determining crash rate. Larger differences in speed between vehicles are related to a higher crash rate. Without exception, a vehicle that moved (much) faster than other traffic around it, had a higher crash rate. With regard to the rate of a (much) slower moving vehicle, the evidence is inconclusive.
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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                Journal
                Journal of Advanced Transportation
                Journal of Advanced Transportation
                Hindawi Limited
                2042-3195
                0197-6729
                October 15 2021
                October 15 2021
                : 2021
                : 1-15
                Affiliations
                [1 ]Department of Cognitive Robotics, Faculty of Mechanical, Maritime and Materials Engineering, Delft University of Technology, Mekelweg 2, 2628 CD Delft, Netherlands
                [2 ]Group Renault, Chassis Systems Department, 1 Avenue du Golf, 78280 Guyancourt, France
                [3 ]Department of Computer and System Engineering, ENSTA ParisTech, 828 Boulevard des Maréchaux, 91762 Palaiseau Cedex, France
                Article
                10.1155/2021/4396401
                © 2021

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