Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Vibrating Steering Wheel Guides Drivers While Keeping Their Eyes on the Road

25.04.2012
Carnegie Mellon and AT&T Researchers Evaluate Haptic Navigation Aid
A vibrating steering wheel is an effective way to keep a driver's eyes safely on the road by providing an additional means to convey directions from a car's navigation system, researchers at Carnegie Mellon University and AT&T Labs have shown.

The study, one of the first to evaluate combinations of audio, visual and haptic feedback for route guidance, found that younger drivers in particular were less distracted by a navigation system's display screen when they received haptic feedback from the vibrating steering wheel.
For elder drivers, the haptic feedback reinforced the auditory cues they normally prefer.

Though the haptic steering wheel generally improved driver performance and safety, the study findings suggest that simply giving the driver additional sensory inputs isn't always optimal. That's particularly the case for older drivers because the additional sensory feedback can strain the brain's capacity to process it.

Pictured above is the haptic simulator used in the study.

"Our findings suggest that, as navigation systems become more elaborate, it would be best to personalize the sensory feedback system based, at least in part, on the driver's age," said SeungJun Kim, systems scientist in Carnegie Mellon's Human-Computer Interaction Institute (HCII).

The findings will be presented June 21 at the International Conference on Pervasive Computing in Newcastle, England.

Vibrating steering wheels already are used by some car makers to alert drivers to such things as road hazards. But the haptic steering wheel under development by AT&T is capable of unusually nuanced pulsations and thus can convey more information. Twenty actuators on the rim of the AT&T wheel can be fired in any order. In this study, firing them in a clockwise sequence told a driver to turn right, while a counterclockwise sequence signaled a left turn.

"By using these types of vibration cues, we are taking advantage of what people are already familiar with, making them easier to learn," explained Kevin A. Li, a researcher with AT&T's user interface group in Florham Park, NJ.

Kim and fellow HCII scientists have developed methods for measuring the performance, attentiveness and cognitive load of drivers that involve a suite of sensors. For this study, they added the experimental AT&T steering wheel to their driving simulator.
Part of a research thrust of the National Science Foundation-sponsored Quality of Life Technology Center, the researchers were particularly interested in learning whether multi-modal feedback would improve the driving performance of elderly drivers. The number of drivers over the age of 65 is rapidly growing; improving the performance of older drivers despite progressive decay in their vision, hearing and general mobility can help maintain their mobility and independence.

Subjects of the study included 16 drivers ages 16-36 and 17 over the age of 65. In the HCII simulator, these people drove a course that included various traffic lights, stop signs and pedestrians while the researchers monitored their heart rate, pupil size, blink rate, brain wave activity and other measures of attention and cognitive load.

The researchers found that the proportion of time that a driver's eyes were off of the road was significantly less with the combination of auditory and haptic feedback than with the audio and visual feedback typical of most conventional GPS systems - 4 percent less for elder drivers and 9 percent less for younger drivers.
Combining all three modalities - audio, visual and haptic - significantly reduced eye-off-the-road time for the younger drivers, but not the older drivers. Kim said this may have to do with driver preference; self-reports showed older drivers favored audio feedback while younger drivers relied more on visual feedback.

But the researchers also found that combining all three modalities didn't reduce the cognitive workload of older drivers, a result that was in contrast to younger drivers. They concluded designers of navigation systems for older drivers may need to concentrate on reducing the driver's cognitive burden rather than resolving issues regarding divided attention.

"We are very excited about the benefits of adding haptic feedback to traditional audio-visual interfaces," said Anind K. Dey, associate professor in HCII. "In combination with our ability to measure cognitive load, we can not only design interfaces that people like and make them more efficient, but that also allow them to more easily focus on their task at hand."

In addition to Dey, Kim and Li, the research team included Jodi Forlizzi, associate professor in HCII, and Jin-Hyuk Hong, a post-doctoral researcher in HCII. General Motors, the National Science Foundation and the Quality of Life Technology Center sponsored this study.

The Human-Computer Interaction Institute is part of Carnegie Mellon's acclaimed School of Computer Science. Follow the school on Twitter @SCSatCMU.

Byron Spice | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.cmu.edu

More articles from Automotive Engineering:

nachricht 3D scans for the automotive industry
16.01.2017 | Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg

nachricht Improvement of the operating range and increasing of the reliability of integrated circuits
09.11.2016 | Technologie Lizenz-Büro (TLB) der Baden-Württembergischen Hochschulen GmbH

All articles from Automotive Engineering >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Can the immune system be boosted against Staphylococcus aureus by delivery of messenger RNA?

Staphylococcus aureus is a feared pathogen (MRSA, multi-resistant S. aureus) due to frequent resistances against many antibiotics, especially in hospital infections. Researchers at the Paul-Ehrlich-Institut have identified immunological processes that prevent a successful immune response directed against the pathogenic agent. The delivery of bacterial proteins with RNA adjuvant or messenger RNA (mRNA) into immune cells allows the re-direction of the immune response towards an active defense against S. aureus. This could be of significant importance for the development of an effective vaccine. PLOS Pathogens has published these research results online on 25 May 2017.

Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) is a bacterium that colonizes by far more than half of the skin and the mucosa of adults, usually without causing infections....

Im Focus: A quantum walk of photons

Physicists from the University of Würzburg are capable of generating identical looking single light particles at the push of a button. Two new studies now demonstrate the potential this method holds.

The quantum computer has fuelled the imagination of scientists for decades: It is based on fundamentally different phenomena than a conventional computer....

Im Focus: Turmoil in sluggish electrons’ existence

An international team of physicists has monitored the scattering behaviour of electrons in a non-conducting material in real-time. Their insights could be beneficial for radiotherapy.

We can refer to electrons in non-conducting materials as ‘sluggish’. Typically, they remain fixed in a location, deep inside an atomic composite. It is hence...

Im Focus: Wafer-thin Magnetic Materials Developed for Future Quantum Technologies

Two-dimensional magnetic structures are regarded as a promising material for new types of data storage, since the magnetic properties of individual molecular building blocks can be investigated and modified. For the first time, researchers have now produced a wafer-thin ferrimagnet, in which molecules with different magnetic centers arrange themselves on a gold surface to form a checkerboard pattern. Scientists at the Swiss Nanoscience Institute at the University of Basel and the Paul Scherrer Institute published their findings in the journal Nature Communications.

Ferrimagnets are composed of two centers which are magnetized at different strengths and point in opposing directions. Two-dimensional, quasi-flat ferrimagnets...

Im Focus: World's thinnest hologram paves path to new 3-D world

Nano-hologram paves way for integration of 3-D holography into everyday electronics

An Australian-Chinese research team has created the world's thinnest hologram, paving the way towards the integration of 3D holography into everyday...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Marine Conservation: IASS Contributes to UN Ocean Conference in New York on 5-9 June

24.05.2017 | Event News

AWK Aachen Machine Tool Colloquium 2017: Internet of Production for Agile Enterprises

23.05.2017 | Event News

Dortmund MST Conference presents Individualized Healthcare Solutions with micro and nanotechnology

22.05.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

How herpesviruses win the footrace against the immune system

26.05.2017 | Life Sciences

Water forms 'spine of hydration' around DNA, group finds

26.05.2017 | Life Sciences

First Juno science results supported by University of Leicester's Jupiter 'forecast'

26.05.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>