University of Twente Student Theses


Effects of display position, secondary task and driving task difficulty on the driver’s gaze behavior : a field study

Schmidt, Cornelia (2016) Effects of display position, secondary task and driving task difficulty on the driver’s gaze behavior : a field study.

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Abstract:Current trends found in the automotive cockpit development, such as the engagement in additional tasks while driving including, among others, the drivers’ usage of consumer electronics, and the increasing integration of in-vehicle information systems that answer the customers’ needs, have a potential of distracting the drivers (Victor, Harbluk & Engström, 2005; Young, Regan & Hammer, 2003). Moreover, they could force them to look away from the driving situation. In light of these potential safety critical trends (e.g., Victor et al., 2005), the aim of this study was to reexamine the influences of the in-vehicle display position, the secondary task difficulty and the driving task difficulty on the visual behavior of the drivers. An experimental field study was executed with 34 participants. The participants executed three tasks of different priorities: the driving task, a visual attention task and a visual secondary task with multiple difficulty levels that was presented on different displays. In this thesis, the focus was on the examination of the recorded visual behavior of the participants. The secondary task difficulty was represented by the easiest and most difficult level, the display position by the head-up display (HUD) and the instrument cluster (IC) and the driving task difficulty by two curved and two straight road sections. The results of 24 participants showed that the drivers’ gaze strategies and the extents of the effects of the secondary task and driving task difficulty differed considerably depending on the display position they were looking at. The drivers executed considerably longer gazes and executed less gaze switches when focusing on the HUD compared to the IC. It was concluded that this was due to the special location of the HUD that allowed for peripheral perception according to Ecker (2013) and due to differences in the drivers’ perceived levels of risk regarding the two display positions. Moreover, small tendencies were found that the drivers seemed to change their visual behavior in such a way that they ensured their safety and situation awareness under different circumstances. In light of the aforementioned trends this was a reassuring outcome
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:55 traffic technology, transport technology, 77 psychology
Programme:Psychology MSc (66604)
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