Is Car Following The Real Question – Are Equations The Answer?


Hancock, P.A. (1999). Is car following the real question – are equations the answer? Transportation Research: Traffic Psychology and Behavior, 2(4), 197-199.

Within the constraints that they set themselves, Brackstone, M. and McDonald, M. ( Transportation Research : Part F (2000)), do a good job in elucidating the current state-of-the-art concerning car following models. Further, their protestation concerning the importance of such models in the light of growing intelligent transportation systems (ITS) technology and potential application in collision-warning and collision-avoidance systems is also undoubtedly correct. Also, as a member of the human factors expert panel cited (Intelligent Transportation Society of America. (1997). In Proceedings of the Intelligent Vehicle Initiative Human Factors Workshop . Washington DC: ITS America) it can be confirmed that normative models of driving remain a crucial unsolved issue. Thus, for these reasons their present review is both helpful and timely and deserves wide circulation. The points of contention do not concern their specific observations but rather the intrinsic assumptions upon which they are based. In particular, the question asked is, is car following the real question and equations the answer?

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