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Haptic & Auditory Interfaces as a Collision Avoidance Technique During Run-Off and Head-On Collisions & Driver Perception of Modalities

Project #: 4W0767
Start Date: 09/01/2005
End Date: 09/30/2006
Status: Completed

Roadway departure fatalities, which include run-off-road and head-on collisions, accounted for 55 percent of all roadway fatalities in the United States in 2003. In an effort to reduce the number of roadway departures, many transportation agencies have introduced static rumble strips in shoulder and/or centerline sections of the roadway. Recently, more advanced technology has been developed in the form of in-vehicle advanced lane departure systems. These systems are currently showing their value in some commercial trucks in Europe, and are soon to become available in U.S. passenger cars. Two critical factors will govern their ultimate success: • Their ability to warn the driver in an effective and timely manner to make the correct action• Their success in gaining the driver’s trust and acceptance Data will be collected in Western Transportation Institute’s driving simulation laboratory. This laboratory is equipped with a 36 square meter light and sound controlled room containing a DriveSafety500C simulator running HyperDirveTM Simulation Authoring Suite software and VectionTM simulation software version 1.9.8. The simulator is comprised of a cut-down 1996 Saturn SL sedan cab with fully functional controls, five rear projection plasma displays arranged in a semicircle around the front of the cab provides a 150-degree field of view and rear-view mirror, five audio speakers, a simulator operator station and association computers. Using the WTI Driving Simulation Laboratory, fifteen subjects will drive a simulated road segment during which time they will each receive three alerting sensory modalities: haptic (seat vibration), auditory (“rumble strip” sound), and combined auditory and haptic sensory warnings. Most importantly, a pilot study will be conducted prior to testing to control for sources of error and to establish proper intensity levels (decibel of auditory signal, frequency and amplitude of vibration) for the sensory modalities. From this study researchers will:• Determine appropriate and comparable intensities for the auditory and haptic signal• Compare driver responses to variations in haptic (seat vibration), auditory (“rumble strip” sound), and combined modalities of auditory and haptic• Determine driver perception and acceptance of the presented modalities as a collision avoidance warning technique on a rural two-way two-lane road.


To better understand basic human factor principles to haptic (touch) and auditory (sound) interfaces as a collision avoidance technique during run-off-road and head-on collisions, as well as how drivers perceive each type of interface.


  • Laura Stanley
    Laura Stanley