Bridging the Communication Gap: A Driver-Passenger Video Link.
In a recent large-scale naturalistic study, driver-passenger interactions were identified as a major source of driver distraction. According to this study, driver inattention to the road is often caused by conversation with passengers. This suggests that when driving and conversing with passengers, drivers attempt to bridge the visual communication gap with passengers by turning to look at them. In an online survey presented in this paper, responses confirmed that most drivers interact with their passengers while driving and and want eye contact during these interactions; however most would also prefer to keep their eyes on the road while driving. To address these conflicting preferences, a driving simulator user study was conducted with a monitor-based and a head-up display (HUD) video system. Results show that a video system can provide drivers with greater visual contact with passengers without degrading driving performance. Participants also had greater interest in using a HUD-based system.
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