Directing a driver's gaze results in smoother steering

Sep 02, 2008
This video frame shows the blue target bar positioned on the tangent point -- the point at which the edge line on a road seems to begin changing direction -- as the road curves to the left. Credit: Journal of Vision 2008

A study recently published in ARVO's online Journal of Vision may inform the next generation of in-car driving assistance systems. New research finds that when drivers fix their gaze on specific targets placed strategically along a curve, their steering is smoother and more stable than it is in normal conditions.

Typically, drivers gaze along a curve as they negotiate it, but they also look at other parts of the road, the dashboard, traffic signs and oncoming vehicles. A new study finds that when drivers fix their gaze on specific targets placed strategically along a curve, their steering is smoother and more stable than it is in normal conditions.

The study, "Driving around bends with manipulated eye-steering coordination" was recently published in the online Journal of Vision (www.journalofvision.org/8/11/10), a peer-reviewed publication from the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology.

"This work may be relevant for the design of visual driving assistance systems," explains author Franck Mars, PhD, of the Institut de Recherche en Communications et Cybernétique de Nantes (IRCCyN), Nantes, France.

"Indeed, the next generation of head-up displays in cars will offer the opportunity for a driving aid that offers a wide field of view and highlights key features in the visual scene," adds Dr. Mars. "This study may help answer the question of which visual cues should be made available in such displays."

The experiment included 13 drivers who drove a simulator vehicle while looking at a large screen displaying a roadway featuring a series of curves. The focus and direction of each driver's gaze was monitored and recorded.

In a series of control and test trials, researchers had drivers steer around the simulated course while fixing their gaze on a small blue bar.

The blue bar represents the tangent point — the point where, from the driver's viewpoint, the inside edge line seems to begin to change direction as it outlines the curve.

The results revealed that the ?xation targets helped the driver improve the stability of steering control.

This study suggests that indicating a point along the oncoming road in the vicinity of the tangent point may be a simple and efficient way to make vehicle control easier.

Source: Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology

Explore further: Radiologist recommendations for chest CT have high clinical yield

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Training eye movement may reduce driver distraction

Jun 08, 2010

More than 16 people are killed and more than 1,300 people are injured each day in crashes involving a distracted driver, a phenomenon that could be reduced with the right application of motion information and appropriate ...

Take a virtual ride in an RC toy car

May 19, 2008

Have you ever wished that you could hop into the cockpit of your remote-controlled car and experience what the ride would really be like?

Recommended for you

New approach to particle therapy dosimetry

Dec 19, 2014

Researchers at the National Physical Laboratory (NPL), in collaboration with EMRP partners, are working towards a universal approach to particle beam therapy dosimetry.

Supplement maker admits lying about ingredients

Dec 17, 2014

Federal prosecutors say the owner and president of a dietary supplement company has admitted his role in the sale of diluted and adulterated dietary ingredients and supplements sold by his company.

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.