Silvia Varotto

SWOV Institute for Road Safety Research, The Hague (NL)

March 24, 2021, 11:00Zoom

Modelling driver behaviour with intelligent vehicle systems

Intelligent vehicle systems and automated vehicles can contribute to reduce traffic congestion and accidents. Empirical findings have shown that intelligent vehicle systems might have both intended and unintended impacts on driver behaviour. Notwithstanding the potential effects on traffic operations, most microscopic traffic flow models currently used to evaluate the impact of intelligent vehicle systems do not describe driver responses accurately. To increase the realism and predictive ability of these models, my research aims to incorporate human behaviour elements based on empirical data and theories developed in the fields of human factors and traffic psychology. This seminar presents findings based on on-road experiments with full-range adaptive cruise control (ACC) and with an automatic incident detection (AID) system. A continuous-discrete choice model was developed to describe the underlying decision-making process of drivers with ACC at an operational level. Linear mixed-effects models were used to capture adaptations in driver deceleration behaviour while approaching traffic congestions with and without AID. These models can be used to predict driver response to intelligent vehicles systems and can be implemented into microscopic traffic flow simulations to evaluate the impact of these systems on traffic operations.


Silvia Varotto is a researcher in human factors in vehicle automation at SWOV Institute for Road Safety Research in The Hague (NL). Her main research interests are developing advanced mathematical models that capture the decision making of individuals realistically and understanding the impact of cutting edge technologies on users' behaviour. In 2018, she received her PhD in Transportation Engineering from Delft University of Technology (NL) under the supervision of Dr. Haneen Farah, prof. Bart van Arem and prof. Serge Hoogendoorn. She was visiting scholar at Technion-Israel Institute of Technology (IL), Universit�t de Bundeswehr M�nchen (DE) and Ecole Polytechnique F�d�rale de Lausanne (CH). She received her BSc and her MSc in Civil Engineering from University of Trieste (IT).