COMPARISON OF DRIVER VISUAL DEMAND
IN TEST TRACK, SIMULATOR, AND ON-ROAD ENVIRONMENTS

Mark Wooldridge, Karin Bauer, Paul Green, and Kay Fitzpatrick

January 2000

The demands on a driver to maintain a consistent path is reflected in the driveršs workload. Visual demand, which can be measured using vision occlusion, can be used to quantify driver workload. Vision occlusion blanks out the driveršs vision of the roadway using a visor or other similar device. By measuring the amount of time the driver is viewing the roadway, a measure of the information load on the driver is obtained.

Experiments were conducted in a driving simulator, on a test track, and on a public road to examine the reliability and repeatability of vision occlusion. The results showed that the effects of curve radius on visual demand were similar for all three test conditions. However, differences in the baseline demand level occurred between contexts. These results indicate driving simulator and test track results can be used to estimate changes in visual demand of real roads.

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