The effects of different in-vehicle display locations on semi-autonomous driving performance
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Vehicle automation has become much more advanced, resulting in semi-autonomous vehicles which can handle the driving task by themselves under certain conditions. The autonomous driving technology is still limited, however, occasionally requiring driver intervention for events it cannot handle. It can be difficult for the driver to reorient themselves back to the driving task, especially if they are distracted. One factor in driving distraction is where the driver is looking at for the secondary task. If the in-vehicle display is placed closer to the driving scene (e.g., the windshield), drivers could spend less time scanning between the display and the road and can still monitor the driving environment with their peripheral vision. This dissertation aims to study how different in-vehicle display locations for a secondary reading task affect semi-autonomous driving performance. The main hypothesis was that display locations closer to the driving environment will allow drivers to better monitor the road and have better driving performance. Participants drove on a simulated highway using semi-autonomous driving, occasionally intervening for hazardous events. The display location near the CD-player (the location furthest from the driving environment) did result in slower reactions to one of the critical events when compared to one of the windshield display locations (closest to the driving environment). Overall, however, the location for the display seemed to have had little effect on driving performance. Although the location for the display may theoretically have an effect on how drivers monitor the road, these results suggest that it may not be enough to result in better driving safety for a semi-autonomous vehicle.
Thesis (Ph.D.)-- Wichita State University, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Dept. of Psychology