Drivers’ workload measures to verify functionality of ferry boats boarding area




workload measures, driver behaviour, road safety, driving simulation, complex environment


Functionality of a square used for ferry boats boarding has repercussions on safety and comfort of users, as well as on the efficiency of maritime transport. Inadequate use of the infrastructure causes driving errors followed by corrective manoeuvres, loss of time and potential accidents with consequences for community and the maritime transport company. The wide diversification of traffic components and payment methods are generally managed through a traditional horizontal and vertical signage system that does not refer to any current legislation. Therefore, the purpose of this research is to investigate driver's behaviour and the interaction that takes place between the latter and the environmental context. In particular, the authors focused on the study of the driver’s workload in a simulated environment, considering a users' sample and different driving scenarios inside the boarding area, concerning traffic conditions (isolated vehicle or presence of disturbing vehicles) and signs position. All this, in order to evaluate whether any change in a virtual context could bring real benefits to drivers, before being transferred to the real context. The results obtained, in terms of subjective workload and performance measures, have made it possible to judge the different solutions proposed in a simulated environment through synthetic indices referring to the entire boarding place or at certain parts of it. In this way, the manager can decide to change the circulation of the entire square or only some aspects of detail, such as some signals, in the event that they manifest an evident difficulty in the transfer of information. The use of the simulated environment allows greater speed in identifying the best solution, lower costs (avoiding the creation of a critical configuration for circulation) and greater user safety, since risky manoeuvres are identified and corrected by the simulator. The proposed procedure can be used by managers for a correct arrangement of the signs, for the purpose of correctly directing the flows and maximizing the flow rate disposed of.


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Original articles

How to Cite

Gaetano, B., Stellario, M., Orazio, P., & Villari, M. (2020). Drivers’ workload measures to verify functionality of ferry boats boarding area. Archives of Transport, 56(4), 7-17.


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