Multidimensional Warnings: Determining an Appropriate Stimulus for a Curve-Warning Device
Neurauter, Michael Lucas
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An average of 42,000 fatalities occur on the United States of America's roads each year as a result of motor-vehicle crashes (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 2003). The dangers with respect to curves exist, from late notification of direction and speed, varying methods for determining advisory speeds, as well as driver unfamiliarity and/or over confidence. A curve-warning device, a device that notifies the driver of an upcoming curve and, possibly, conveys its vehicle-specific advisory speed and even direction, has the potential to drastically reduce the dangers of curve navigation. This study was performed as a proof of concept with regard to appropriate modalities and respective stimuli for a curve warning application. For this study, objective and subjective measurements were collected in a simulator environment to compare conditions comprised of multiple stimuli from the auditory (icon, tone, and speech), visual (Heads Down Display and Heads Up Display), and haptic (throttle push-back) modalities. The results of the study show that the speech stimulus was the most appropriate of the auditory stimuli for both objective and subjective measurements. Objectively, the HDD and HUD were comparable with respect to performance, although the participants tended to favor the HDD in their subjective ratings. The throttle push-back did little to positively impact the performance measurements, and based on participant comments and ratings, it is not recommended for a curve-warning application. Of the stimulus conditions (combinations of two and three modalities), the Speech and HDD condition provided performance gains and subjective acceptability above the rest of the conditions.
- Masters Theses