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What is the Level of Volatility in Instantaneous Driving Decisions

Dr. KhattakDr. Asad J. Khattak
Beaman Professor of Civil & Environmental Engineering
University of Tennessee
February 28, 2014, 2:30 – 3:30 PM
500 John D. Tickle Building

Dr. Asad J. Khattak is Beaman Professor of Civil & Environmental Engineering and Transportation Program Coordinator at University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Dr. Khattak is Editor-in-Chief of Science Citation Indexed Journal of Intelligent Transportation Systems, and Associate Editor of International Journal of Sustainable Transportation. He is special adviser to the Journal of Safety and Security and editorial advisory board Member of Transportation Research, Part C, and Analytic Methods in Accident Research. Dr. Khattak’s research focuses on various types of innovations related to 1) intelligent transportation systems, 2) transportation safety, and 3) sustainable transportation. During 2006-2013, he was Frank Batten Endowed Chair Professor of Civil Engineering at Old Dominion University where he developed and directed ODU’s transportation research initiatives and educational programs. He is an internationally recognized scholar, with 95 scholarly journal articles and has obtained more than $7.6 million in research funding.  Dr. Khattak graduated from Northwestern University and he has worked at University of California at Berkeley, University of Oxford in England, and the French National Institute for Transport and Safety Research.

Talk Abstract: Driving styles can be broadly characterized as calm or aggressive, with significant implications for traffic safety, energy consumption and environment. How to quantify the extent of “calm or aggressive driving” remains unanswered, preventing researchers from exploring its associations with traffic safety, energy, and emissions. This study contributes by developing a new driver volatility index to measure the extent of “aggressive driving.” It captures the variation in driving behaviors from a decision-making perspective. Specifically, instantaneous driving decisions made by drivers to accommodate changes of surrounding environment, include maintaining speed, accelerating, decelerating, maintaining acceleration/deceleration, or jerks to vehicle (the decision to change marginal rate of acceleration and deceleration). In this research, different measures are developed to quantify volatility in instantaneous driving decisions using a large scale travel behavior survey data collected in Atlanta, GA during 2011. It contains containing 51,371 trips and their associated second-by-second (total 36 million seconds) speed data. Modeling results indicate that higher volatility in instantaneous driving decisions is correlated with gender, age, trips of varying lengths. The implications of providing instantaneous feedback to drivers about their driving volatility are discussed.

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