The Attentional Demand of Automobile Driving Revisited: Occlusion Distance as a Function of Task- Relevant Event Density in Realistic Driving Scenarios
Kujala, T., Mäkelä, J., Kotilainen, I., & Tokkonen, T. (2016). The Attentional Demand of Automobile Driving Revisited: Occlusion Distance as a Function of Task- Relevant Event Density in Realistic Driving Scenarios. Human Factors, 58 (1), 163-180. doi:10.1177/0018720815595901
Published inHuman Factors
© 2015, Human Factors and Ergonomics Society. This is a Final Draft version of an article whose final and definitive form has been published by SAGE Publications. Published in this repository with the kind permission of the publisher.
Objective: We studied the utility of occlusion distance as a function of task-relevant event density in realistic traffic scenarios with self-controlled speed. Background: The visual occlusion technique is an established method for assessing visual demands of driving. However, occlusion time is not a highly informative measure of environmental task-relevant event density in self-paced driving scenarios because it partials out the effects of changes in driving speed. Method: Self-determined occlusion times and distances of 97 drivers with varying backgrounds were analyzed in driving scenarios simulating real Finnish suburban and highway traffic environments with self-determined vehicle speed. Results: Occlusion distances varied systematically with the expected environmental demands of the manipulated driving scenarios whereas the distributions of occlusion times remained more static across the scenarios. Systematic individual differences in the preferred occlusion distances were observed. More experienced drivers achieved better lane-keeping accuracy than inexperienced drivers with similar occlusion distances; however, driving experience was unexpectedly not a major factor for the preferred occlusion distances. Conclusion: Occlusion distance seems to be an informative measure for assessing task-relevant event density in realistic traffic scenarios with self-controlled speed. Occlusion time measures the visual demand of driving as the task-relevant event rate in time intervals, whereas occlusion distance measures the experienced task-relevant event density in distance intervals. Application: The findings can be utilized in context-aware distraction mitigation systems, human–automated vehicle interaction, road speed prediction and design, as well as in the testing of visual in-vehicle tasks for inappropriate in-vehicle glancing behaviors in any dynamic traffic scenario for which appropriate individual occlusion distances can be defined. ...