A human factors study on message design of variable message sign

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Variable message sign (VMS) is a key component of intelligent transportation system (ITS). This paper describes a human factors study focusing on the message design of VMS. It examined within-subject factors, message font size and color; and between-subject factors, subjects' age and gender; and their impacts on human/ITS interface. Experiments were conducted in a motorist performance laboratory where an environment of real video scenes integrated with computer-generated VMS was created to simulate a virtual driving experience. The study found that font color, subjects' age, and gender significantly affected the response time. Green font color resulted in the shortest response time. Older subjects responded faster but with lower accuracy. Female subjects also responded faster with lower accuracy. No meaningful correlations were found between subjects' response time and accuracy. These findings might help promote safe and efficient driving through effective and accurate delivery of information to motorists via VMS.

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International Journal of Industrial Engineering : Theory Applications and Practice





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