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Page updated August 20, 2008

Instrumented Vehicles

Honda Accord

The most sophisticated vehicle in the Driver Interface Group is an instrumented 1991 Honda Accord station wagon. Although varying from year to year, either the sedan versions of the Accord or the Taurus have been the most widely sold car in the U.S., and hence are appropriate for test vehicles. The Accord has been used for studies of navigation and warning systems. The instrumentation suite allows for recording of the driving environment, everything the driver does, and how the vehicle responds. The table below shows the parameters collected.
Parameter Accuracy Update Rate
headway 1 meter 8+ Hz
left and right lane edge 0.1 ft 10 Hz
speed 0.1 mph 30 Hz
steering wheel angle 0.3 degree 30 Hz
throttle angle 0.5 % 30 Hz
brake actuation time 1 ms -
turn signal, cruise on/off 1 ms -
In addition, there are lipstick and low-light cameras to record the forward scene and the driver's face, and at times instrument panel cameras have also been installed. Multiple lavolier microphones are used to record comments from experimenters and drivers. The miniature audio and video equipment used induces drivers behave in a more natural and relaxed manner.
At present, an effort is in progress to develop and install an eye fixation recording system. For several projects, Macintosh simulations of driver interfaces have also been used, and LCDs and a simulated HUD have been installed.
For more information see:
Sweet, R.E. and Green, P. (1993). UMTRI's Instrumented Car, UMTRI Research Review, January-February, 1-11.
Katz, S., Green, P. , and Fleming, J. (1995). Calibration and Baseline Driving Data for the UMTRI Driver Interface Research Vehicle, (Technical Report UMTRI-95-2), Ann Arbor, MI: The University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute.

Honda Exterior

 96 K An exterior image of the Honda. The headway sensor is visible above the license plate holder. The driver's side lane tracker can be seen mounted in the rear-view mirror.

Honda Interior

 128 K  This is a view of the interior of the Honda. Experiments are monitored and controlled from the back seat. From this position, the driver, the data, the video image, and the forward scene are all easily visible.

Honda Quad Video Image

 96 K A quad video image from the Honda during testing. The lower left quadrant shows the two lane tracker images. A graphical representation of the data being collected is shown in the lower right quadrant.

Honda Lane Tracking Cameras

 96 K A close-up of the driver's side lane tracker. The lens is visible on the bottom of the rear-view mirror. The camera that records the driver (in the quad video image) can be seen behind the A-pillar.

Ford Taurus

A 1991 Ford Taurus has also been outfitted with three cameras for less sophisticated on road studies of driving. While it lacks the real-time data collection suite and special high output alternator present in the Honda, it is somewhat larger and more flexible.
Taurus Exterior Image 96 K An exterior image of the Taurus.
Taurus Interior 128 K A view of the diver's seat. The center stalk area can be configured to hold a variety of displays, entry devices and cameras. The camera in this configuration is aimed at the subject (as seen in the next image).
Taurus Video Setup 96 K A sample image from the video system in the Taurus. To allow for close-ups, the image can be split in an adjustable manner. This picture has a close up of the driver and the speedometer.