The AgeLab Presents Award-Winning Google Glass Driving Simulation Study

The AgeLab Presents Award-Winning Google Glass Driving Simulation Study

An extended presentation on the study “Comparing the Demands of Destination Entry using Google Glass and the Samsung Galaxy S4” was recently presented at the 2014 Human Factors and Ergonomics Society Annual Meeting. A preliminary report on this research was presented by student researchers and won the Volpe Award at the New England chapter of HFES Annual Student conference earlier this year. This study was aimed at understanding how driving performance and attentional resources could be affected when using modern navigation entry devices while operating a vehicle. Researchers compared the workload associated with entering a destination address into a navigation application with a novel hands-free technology (Google Glass) to voice-based and visual-tactile input options on a smartphone (Samsung Galaxy S4) while driving in a vehicle simulator.

Voice-based input of destination entry using both devices was observed to be less mentally taxing and the relatively safer method of input—revealed by the lowest workload ratings and faster reaction times among participants – compared to the manual interface on the smartphone. Mean task duration numbers revealed that out of all possible input methods, drivers spent the least amount of time interacting with the Google Glass and the most amount of time moving through the steps of the tactile Samsung interface. Additionally, even if participants were relatively familiar with the touch interface on the Samsung, they reported preferring destination input vocally through the Google Glass. Participants found it easier to enter the destination address, leading to faster response times and overall apparently safer patterns of driving. However, while the total time interacting with the Google Glass voice interface was shorter than interacting with the smartphone voice interface, there was some evidence that participants were more mentally absorbed in the interaction during the shorter interval. Finally, irrespective of device or modality, destination entry was found to significantly decrease responsiveness to visual events in the forward scene compared to baseline driving, and thus interaction with any of these technologies while driving remains an area of concern.

The authors further noted that this exploratory study looked only at relatively younger drivers who were experienced interacting with new technologies. The extent to which older drivers or individuals with less technology experience might respond to the new Google Glass interface is an open question for further research. Building on this and related work, the AgeLab will continue to explore both basic and applied research aimed at supporting a better understanding of factors relevant to finding safe and effective methods of integrating technology into making everyday life.

Full paper citation:
Beckers, N., Schreiner, S., Bertrand, P., Reimer, B., Mehler, B., Munger, D., & Dobres, J. (2014). Comparing the demands of destination entry using Google Glass and the Samsung Galaxy S4. Proceedings of the 58th Annual Meeting of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society, Chicago, IL, Oct. 27 - 31, 2014, pp. 2156-2160.


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