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The measurement of visual demand imposed by in-vehicle entertainment systems on novice and experienced drivers

Sponsoring partner: Motor Industry Research Association (MIRA)


Both ITS and MIRA are contributing to the process of developing International Standards for visual demand measurement. The objectives of this project were to aid this development by: Providing a critique of the methods and metrics for demand measurement. To determine the effect of completing every day tasks (with a car radio-cassette) on drivers' visual behaviour Two groups of drivers, novice (in training but unlicensed) and experienced (licensed for at least 10 years) completed test routes in the LADS, and visual behaviour was recorded on videotape. It was found that novice drivers deviated out of lane more frequently than experts over the experimental distance for both the left and right sides of lane. Visual allocation data for the entire duration of each of the experimental conditions revealed that novice drivers glanced to the radio more frequently and for longer durations than experienced drivers. Novice drivers were found to spend a greater percentage of time looking away from the forward view than experts, in particular glancing to the instrument panel. The ability to maintain position in lane reflects the safety implications of extended distractions from the forward view. If the driver does not sample the roadway sufficiently frequently they have reduced information with which to make compensatory lane keeping movements.