Ronald R. Mourant
Date of Award
Master of Science
Department or Academic Unit
College of Engineering. Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering
driver performance, driver behavior
Automobile drivers, Automobile driving
We investigated drivers' behavior and physiological measures while driving on curves with radii of 250 meters. Our investigation included recording eye movements while driving on curves to determine the gaze patterns when making left and right curves. The Galvanic Skin Response (GSR) was recorded to monitor simulator sickness. Measurement of GSR was also used to reveal the physiological reaction to dangerous events. The experiment focused on driving on roads with left and right curves with and without clothoids. Clothoids are the family of spirals whose curvature is linearly related to its curve length. The car's course consisted of a succession of straight-line and curve sections. We focused on how drivers' gaze pattern change while driving on left and right curves (with clothoids and without clothoids). Our research was done on a driving simulator with a fixed base in one condition, and in the other condition the simulator had a turning seat, which reflected vehicle heading.
Twelve participants drove approximately 5.5 miles along a curved road environment to complete sixteen curves (eight with clothoid transition, and another eight with normal entry) in about eight minutes. We have the following results:
(1) There was a significant increase in reported Simulation Sickness Questionnaire (SSQ) scores after experiencing the two trials. After run 1, 9 out of 12 subjects had none or the same (slight) value for simulator sickness. Two subjects experienced an increase in nausea. Another two subjects experienced an increase in oculomotor discomfort. One subject experienced a severe increase in general symptoms. After run 2, 8 out of 12 subjects had none or the same (slight) value for simulator sickness. Four subjects experienced a slight increase in nausea. Six subjects experienced an increase in oculomotor discomfort. One subject experienced slight increase in discomfort.
(2) Subjects took more time to drive on straight sections and on both types of curves when driving static seat simulator as compared to turning seat simulator. 8 out of 12 subjects took more time to drive the static seat simulator than the turning seat simulator for both types of curves.
(3) Subjects took less time to drive on clothoid curves as compared to normal curves in both turning and static seat simulator. This may be due the smooth nature of clothoids as the curvature increases linearly with the arc length.
(4) Fixation of the eye shows that the search patterns for the two types of simulator differ. When driving the static simulator, there was a large difference in the percent of time that they viewed the type of lane marker (center or right edge). However, when the drivers were using the turning simulator, they spent almost the same amount of time glancing at the center lane and right edge markers. The turning seat had a strong effect on drivers search and scan patters when entering curves.
(5) Overall increase in GSR, when the cyclist suddenly appeared in front of the driver, is greater in case of the static seat simulator as compared to that of the turning seat simulator. When using the turning simulator, subjects were physically turning and thus had a higher GSR base value than when driving the static simulator.
Sonali R. Gupta
Gupta, Sonali Rakesh Kumar, "Driver performance on curves using a driving simulator" (2008). Computer Systems Engineering Master's Theses. Paper 2. http://hdl.handle.net/2047/d20000005
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