Key Findings: Intelligent Level Crossing
Analysis of vehicle performance measures indicated that, when a train was present, participants exhibited more gradual speed reductions and stopped earlier at the Intelligent Level Crossing compared with the existing standard (see Figure 9.2b). When no train was present, however, participants showed minimal slowing and adopted higher approach speeds than at the existing standard crossing.
The Intelligent Level Crossing was ranked equal first in terms of preference and received the highest number of first preference rankings (see Table 9.1). It also achieved the highest usability score (M = 79.6, SD = 18.9), but this was not rated significantly higher than the existing standard (M = 78.7, SD = 16.2). Subjective workload ratings were not significantly different when comparing the Intelligent Level Crossing and existing standard.
Verbal protocol analyses revealed that the Intelligent Level Crossing alerted participants to the presence of a train much earlier than other designs; the concept ‘train’ reached prominence when participants were up to 250 m from the crossing, whereas for all other designs, the train concept did not emerge until within 50 m of the tracks. Participants generally described the Intelligent Level Crossing in favourable terms. They found it easy to use and liked the clear visual and auditory warnings, including the train icon on the in-vehicle display. Perceived negatives of the system included its potential for driver distraction and concerns about the reliability of the technology.