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Publication Number: FHWA-HRT-08-019
Date: November 2007

Development of a Driver Vehicle Module (DVM) for the Interactive Highway Safety Design Model (IHSDM)

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The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) is currently developing an integrated set of software tools to improve highway design, the Interactive Highway Safety Design Model (IHSDM). The IHSDM is a suite of software analysis tools for evaluating safety and operational effects of geometric design decisions on two-lane rural highways. The IHSDM provides highway project planners, designers, and reviewers in State and local departments of transportation (DOTs) and engineering consulting firms with a suite of safety evaluation tools to support these assessments. As currently implemented in the latest public release version, the IHSDM includes the following five components: (1) Policy Review Module, (2) Design Consistency Module (DCM), (3) Crash Prediction Module, (4) Traffic Analysis Module, and (5) Intersection Review Module. A sixth module, the Driver Vehicle Module (DVM), is a candidate for future release.

The objective of the DVM is to permit the user to evaluate how a driver would operate a vehicle (e.g., passenger car or tractor-trailer) through a geometric design and to identify whether conditions exist that could result in loss of vehicle control (e.g., skidding or rollover). To provide this capability, the module consists of a Driver Performance Model linked to a Vehicle Dynamics Model (VDM), along with other model components needed to provide the necessary information databases. The prototype DVM, which is a time-based simulation model, estimates the vehicle's speed and path along a two-lane rural highway in the absence of other traffic.

During the course of the DVM development project, the DVM development team has engaged in a series of activities, including:

  • Developing initial specifications for the DVM.
  • Working with the IHSDM software developer to implement the initial specifications.
  • Verifying iterative versions of the DVM.
  • Calibrating and validating the DVM.
  • Testing the DVM using real-world roadway design scenarios.
  • Interactively enhancing the DVM and working with the IHSDM software developer to implement fixes and improvements.

Purpose and Organization of this Report

This report provides a complete technical description of the DVM. Specifically, it provides a description of the specification, verification, and calibration/validation of the DVM for the passenger vehicle and the heavy vehicle component, along with additional functionality enhancements.

The report is organized as follows:

  • Section 2. Description and Development of the DVM.
  • Section 3. Specification of the DVM.
  • Section 4. Verification, Calibration, and Validation of the DVM.
  • Section 5. Summary and Conclusions.

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United States Department of Transportation - Federal Highway Administration