Murdoch Naturalistic Driving Fleet & Laboratory

WTI researchers utilize an instrumented vehicle fleet for naturalistic studies of rural traffic safety human factors and field tests of rural traffic safety interventions. The fleet is designed to assist the researchers in understanding and addressing driver–related factors in rural traffic fatalities. The fleet also provides research capabilities based on integration of facilities including driving simulator, test track experiments, and field studies.
The instrumented fleet includes two vehicles.

Chevrolet Impala

SmartEye Eye Tracking System

Detail image of Chevy Impala showing computer interface, Panoramic Camera and Lane Position Camera
SmartEye Eye Tracking System: gathers gaze direction and fixation data to determine where drivers are looking; as well as information about the user’s face and eyes like head orientation, pupil diameter, blink rate, and eye closure levels.

Rearview camera

Digital Acquisition System: collects information about driver behavior and driving performance through nine dedicated equipment components: radar, accelerometer, global positioning system, light meter, data acquisition board, video cameras (inside and outside the vehicle cabin), cabin microphone, Bluetooth and the vehicle’s controller area network bus (CAN bus)



One of the seven video cameras in the vehicle is pointed at the steering wheel. Steering wheel angles are determined in the vehicle with a post-processing algorithm (developed by Entropy Control Inc.) using video of the steering wheel. The steering wheel has pieces of tape placed on it in order for the algorithm to determine the angle that the steering wheel is turned to. This provides more information about what a driver does in relation to their speed.

GMC Sierra 1500

  • Data Acquisition System
  • Rearview Camera
  • Brake and Acceleration
  • Camera
Data Analysis Software

The Digital Artefacts proprietary data visualization software tool takes the information from the data recorded on the Sierra and Impala DAS and provides visual outputs for all of the variables gathered. This allows researchers to visually determine patterns or trends in driving data.

Quad View Video Output: Records lane position data

Data Analysis Equipment

The BioHarness 2 is a device used to measure a person’s physiological variables, during different types of experimentation.  The BH is capable of measuring heart rate, breathing rate, breathing amplitude, skin temperature, heart rate variance, R-R intervals, and ECG data, all from a small device that is worn as part of a chest strap, under the participant’s clothes.

BioPac MP150WSW which includes the ability to record a wide variety of autonomic nervous system functions, including; heart rate, skin conductance (also resistance), skin temperature, muscle tension (EMG), and neuronal activity (EEG)

An iPad application allows researchers to annotate a map while moving. The researchers can specify a set of selectable labels with unique markers that are placed on the map when a button is tapped while traveling and stored in a database together with GPS and route information for use in post processing. If an odd event occurs while a participant is driving, the researcher can note its location and event type. This will help explore what occurred during a drive in order to explain outliers in a data set.


MobileEye Tracker

MobileEye Tracking System: Collects eye movements and point of gaze information during the performance of natural tasks allowing the use of unconstrained eye, head and hand movements under variable light conditions.

Murdock Naturalistic Data Reduction Labs

Past Research Projects

Past projects include a study comparing driver physiological signals between driving on real roads to a fixed-base simulator, while navigating through the same hazardous scenario in both driving environments. Ongoing projects include 1) A NSF study (Laura Stanley PI) that will evaluate how teen drivers visually evaluate potential hazards both in the simulator and on real roads, comparing novice drivers to experienced drivers; and 2) A NSF-REU program study that will examine the different levels of mental demand that are required in both the simulator and while driving on real roads.
Contact: Laura Stanley