Investigators

Jodie Plumert
The University of Iowa
Department of Psychology and Brain Sciences
Joseph Kearney
The University of Iowa
Computer Science
Peter Hancock
University of Central Florida
Industrial Engineering

Final Report

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Project

An Investigation of Peer Influences on Risky Child and Adolescent Pedestrian Road Crossing

Over the next several years, there will be rapid growth in the market for heads-up displays (HUDs) for drivers. Such devices include augmented reality windshields (e.g., BMW HUD), portable aftermarket devices that also project displays on the windshield (e.g., Navdy; https://www.navdy.com/), and head-mounted wearables (e.g., Google Glass). HUDs offer the unique potential to reduce distraction by keeping the drivers' eyes on the road. However, research has also shown that HUDs may create cognitive distraction and impair situational awareness in aviation. The goal of this project will be to examine the distraction potential of HUDs, including Google Glass, using a driving simulator experiment.

One issue in identifying the distraction potential of HUDs is identifying sensitive cognitive distraction metrics. Because the display effectively appears on or slightly above or below the road, some traditional distraction measures, such as eyes-off-road time, may lack sensitivity. Therefore, we propose to first identify effective distraction measures for HUDs in a traditional laboratory study at the University of Central Florida, to identify measures to be included in our driving assessment. Such prospective metrics will include peripheral target detection, subjective workload, and situational awareness measures such as speed limit adherence and object memory. A simulator study at the University of Iowa will then employ these metrics to identify the distraction potential of different HUD applications (e.g., navigation). To understand the potential implications for all roadway users, the study will assess safety and distraction potential across the age spectrum (young adult, middle age, and older adult drivers), according to NHTSA distraction guidelines.

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