Ronald R. Mourant
Date of Award
Master of Science
Department or Academic Unit
College of Engineering, Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering
Previous laboratory and simulator research indicate that novice drivers fail to identify all potential hazards along the roadway. A possible reason could be that novice drivers tend to stare at the road directly ahead more often and miss out on possible hazards on the periphery of the road. A potential hazard is defined as something in the driving environment that requires a driver to adjust his or her speed and/or direction. Such hazards include situations like a high hedge covering a part of the sidewalk that opens into a crosswalk, or vehicles changing lanes abruptly, etc. The aim of this research is to study the differences in road scanning patterns and hence the hazard detection skills of novice and experienced drivers. Data was collected on 20 subjects using a virtual environments driving simulator with10 novice and 10 experienced drivers participating. Eye movement data of each participant was recorded using an eye movement tracker during their runs. A run consisted of suburb, city and rural environments and 12 potential hazards. Eight seconds before each hazard occurred, data were collected and analyzed. The following results were found:
1. Novice drivers took longer to complete the run as compared to the experienced drivers. Of the experienced drivers, 9 out of the 10 took less time than the mean time taken by the novice drivers to complete the run. 2. Novice drivers fixate at the road straight ahead longer than the experienced drivers. The total eye dwell time on the road straight ahead was higher for hazards which have a late visibility, and fall in the region outside a horizontal field of view of + 5 degrees of the driver. 3. Experienced drivers fixate on the hazards longer as compared to the novice drivers. A t-test was carried out on the mean eye dwell time on hazard 8 which found that the difference between the means of the novice and experienced drivers was significant. 4. Also, the total eye dwell time by experienced drivers on the regions, which were outside the horizontal field of view of +5 degrees of the driver, was larger as compared to that of novice drivers.
Tanvi Vinda Chitnis
Chitnis, Tanvi Vinda, "Comparison of road scanning patterns of novice and experienced drivers using a driving simulator" (2011). Computer Systems Engineering Master's Theses. Paper 4. http://hdl.handle.net/2047/d20000911
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