Document Type


Date of Degree

Fall 2011

Degree Name

MS (Master of Science)

Degree In

Industrial Engineering

First Advisor

Thomas, Geb

Second Advisor

Rizzo, Matthew

First Committee Member

Fethke, Nathan


Perceptually challenging driving environments pose a particular threat of motor vehicle crashes to elderly drivers. Augmented reality (AR) cueing is a promising technology to mitigate risk by directing a driver's attention to roadway hazards. The objective of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of AR cues in improving driver safety in older drivers who are at increased risk for a crash due to age-related cognitive impairment.

Twenty elderly (Mean= 73 years, SD= 5), licensed drivers with a range of cognitive abilities measured by a speed of processing (SOP) composite participated in a 36-mile (1 hour) drive in an interactive, fixed-base driving simulator. Each participant received AR cues to potential roadside hazards in three of six, straight, 6-mile-long-rural roadway segments. AR cueing was evaluated using response time and response rate for detecting potentially hazardous events (e.g. pedestrian alongside road), detection accuracy for non-target objects (e.g. recreational sign), and ability to maintain a consistent distance behind a lead vehicle.

AR cueing aided the detection of pedestrians and warning signs, but not vehicles. Response times decreased for AR-cued warning signs. AR cues did not impair perception of non-target objects or the ability to maintain consistent distance behind a lead vehicle, including for drivers with lower SOP capacity.

AR cues show promise for improving older driver safety by increasing hazard detection likelihood without interfering with secondary task performance.


viii, 29 pages


Includes bibliographical references (pages 26-29).


Copyright 2011 Mark Christopher Schall