Location

Salt Lake City, Utah

Date

23-6-2015

Session

Session 3 – Poster Session A

Abstract

When crossing traffic at busy intersections, drivers must keep track of the changing positions of cyclists, pedestrians and other vehicles to avoid collision. Multiple-object tracking is the ability to monitor the positions of a number of selected moving objects (targets) among others (distractors) in a complex scene. Most young adults can track 3-5 items at once but older adults cannot track as many, a finding that may partially explain older drivers’ increased risk at intersections. Because tracking represents an important component of driving, a variant of the multiple-object tracking task called multiple-vehicle was created to measure tracking performance in a driving simulator. However, it is unclear whether tracking while driving works the same as tracking carried out on its own. Laboratory studies suggest that tracking improves when the moving items are heterogeneous, and on the road, it is far more typical that vehicles differ from one another rather than being all the same. Drivers were given the task of tracking the positions of 4 vehicles in a field of 8 on a highway, and the effects of task load (tracking alone, tracking while driving) on tracking performance were measured as a function of whether the target and distractor vehicles were homogeneous. Steering and headway maintenance variability were also assessed. The results indicated that heterogeneity only enabled better tracking when drivers were tracking in isolation. Heterogeneity had no significant effect on tracking when participants were tracking while driving though it did significantly reduce their steering variability.

Rights

Copyright © 2015 the author(s)

DC Citation

Proceedings of the Eighth International Driving Symposium on Human Factors in Driver Assessment, Training and Vehicle Design, June 22-25, 2015, Salt Lake City, Utah. Iowa City, IA: Public Policy Center, University of Iowa, 2015: 91-97.

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Jun 23rd, 12:00 AM

The Effects of Task Load and Vehicle Heterogeneity on Performance in the Multiple-Vehicle Tracking Task

Salt Lake City, Utah

When crossing traffic at busy intersections, drivers must keep track of the changing positions of cyclists, pedestrians and other vehicles to avoid collision. Multiple-object tracking is the ability to monitor the positions of a number of selected moving objects (targets) among others (distractors) in a complex scene. Most young adults can track 3-5 items at once but older adults cannot track as many, a finding that may partially explain older drivers’ increased risk at intersections. Because tracking represents an important component of driving, a variant of the multiple-object tracking task called multiple-vehicle was created to measure tracking performance in a driving simulator. However, it is unclear whether tracking while driving works the same as tracking carried out on its own. Laboratory studies suggest that tracking improves when the moving items are heterogeneous, and on the road, it is far more typical that vehicles differ from one another rather than being all the same. Drivers were given the task of tracking the positions of 4 vehicles in a field of 8 on a highway, and the effects of task load (tracking alone, tracking while driving) on tracking performance were measured as a function of whether the target and distractor vehicles were homogeneous. Steering and headway maintenance variability were also assessed. The results indicated that heterogeneity only enabled better tracking when drivers were tracking in isolation. Heterogeneity had no significant effect on tracking when participants were tracking while driving though it did significantly reduce their steering variability.