Concurrent audio-visual feedback for supporting drivers at intersections: A study using two linked driving simulators


Houtenbos, M.; Winter, J.C.F. de; Hale, A.R.; Wieringa, P.A.; Hagenzieker, M.P.



A large portion of road traffic crashes occur at intersections for the reason that drivers lack necessary visual information. This research examined the effects of an audio-visual display that provides real-time sonification and visualization of the speed and direction of another car approaching the crossroads on an intersecting road. The location of red blinking lights (left vs. right on the speedometer) and the lateral input direction of beeps (left vs. right ear in headphones) corresponded to the direction from where the other car approached, and the blink and beep rates were a function of the approaching car's speed. Two driving simulators were linked so that the participant and the experimenter drove in the same virtual world. Participants (N = 25) completed four sessions (two with the audio-visual display on, two with the audio-visual display off), each session consisting of 22 intersections at which the experimenter approached from the left or right and either maintained speed or slowed down. Compared to driving with the display off, the audio-visual display resulted in enhanced traffic efficiency (i.e., greater mean speed, less coasting) while not compromising safety (i.e., the time gap between the two vehicles was equivalent). A post-experiment questionnaire showed that the beeps were regarded as more useful than the lights. It is argued that the audio-visual display is a promising means of supporting drivers until fully automated driving is technically feasible.

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Applied Ergonomics

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