What kind of information do drivers need? An investigation of drivers' information requirements in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Past research indicated that driver information requirements were varied (e. g. Spyridakis et al., 1991) and the motorists population cannot be consider homogeneous in terms of information requirements (e. g. Haselkorn et al., 1991). Some of the previous studies even suggestedth at before the so-called intelligent systemsg o into production, several unresolved issues concerning what kind of information drivers require need to be resolved. Thus, this thesis is interested in exploring several human factors issues concerning drivers; ' information requirements. First, the study is trying to provide at least a general picture of what kind of information is suitable to be presented to drivers in certain types of journey. Secondly, the thesis is interested in exploring the suitable timing and mode to present the required information to the target audiences. Besides the aforementioned human factors issues, this research also investigated how drivers plan their routes and find their way in unfamiliar destinations. The study is also interested in examining criteria used by drivers in choosing a route to their intended destination. Finally, this thesis aims to measure respondents' behavioral responses when they were given several traffic messages on congestion while commuting to and from work. The results also revealed that local drivers used more than one strategy for route planning and wayfinding in unfamiliar locations. Maps were the main strategy used by most of the respondents who participated in this study. Other strategies used by respondents were asking a passer-by, relying on memory and going without preparation. Apart from that, this study also demonstrated the difficulty in arriving at a general conclusion concerning the appropriate criteria that drivers would use in selecting a route for different trips. Local drivers would use a variety types of criteria in order to choose a route to a particular destination. However, the thesis identifies that drivers mainly employed three types of criteria in selecting a route to a particular destination. These criteria were safety, saving mileage and avoiding congested routes The final study (Study 3) was interested in extending the results of both studies I and 2 particularly the presentationo f congestionm essagesto its end users,i . e. motorists. An experiment was conducted to investigate drivers' response towards the presentation of traffic messagesa bout congestion.T he findings clearly supportedp revious work that found different types of information are likely to elicit different kind of responses from the drivers. In addition, local drivers also had ideas about the design of future traffic messages on congestion. For example, the need to have a quick solution when faced with the problem, e. g. offer alternate route; the need to have information on travel time if they decided to use the alternate route recommended by the systems; and some of the messages should be given as early as possible to serve as pre-trip advanced warning to drivers. The findings clearly demonstrated the preference for having more information rather than less.