Driver Recruitability for Advanced Traveler Information System Experiments

Chandra R. Bhat, Joseph L. Schofer, Frank L. Koppelman and Russell C. Bautch


A  number of Advanced Traveler Information System (ATIS) field experiments are being undertaken to study the effectiveness of the ATIS concept in ameliorating traffic congestion and reducing delays.  Many of these experiments require the participation of private drivers willing to allow in-vehicle navigation units to be installed in their vehicles over an extended period of time.  A critical part of any ATIS field experiment is the selection or recruitment of private drivers to fulfill the multi-purpose participation needs of the ATIS experiments.  To provide an informed basis for designing such a driver recruitment effort, it is important to understand the factors affecting driver recruitability or "willingness to participate."  This research presents the results of a quantitative analysis of driver recruitability conducted to aid in the design of recruitment procedures for ADVANCE (Advanced Driver and Vehicle Advisory Navigation Concept), the largest ATIS field experiment of its kind.  The approach used a telephone survey to assess driver willingness to participate in the ADVANCE field experiment and to explore variations in that willingness among different drivers and across characteristics of the ADVANCE system and experimental design.  The results indicate that the willingness to participate in the ADVANCE field test is greater for men, persons who hold executive or managerial occupations, individuals who drive extensively, persons who use electronic devises such as personal computers and car phones regularly, and persons who have positive beliefs regarding the usefulness of the ADVANCE concept.  The results also suggest that drivers' willingness to participate is not strongly affected by monitoring/reporting requirements such as responding to surveys, mailing electronically stored records of system operation, and periodic service requirements.  However, the willingness decreases considerably if drivers have to bear the financial responsibility for damage of the navigation equipment and any equipment-caused electrical failures to the car.  Finally, the incentive of a lottery prize raises the level of participation willingness.  These results have important implications for the recruitment effort, both in terms of recruiting drivers for participation in the demonstration and specifying the operational details of the field test.