AgeLab Presents Six Papers at Driving Assessment Conference

AgeLab Presents Six Papers at Driving Assessment Conference

AgeLab Research Scientists Chaiwoo Lee, Bruce Mehler, Bryan Reimer, and Bobbie Seppelt presented six papers at the 10th International Driving Symposium on Human Factors in Driver Assessment, Training, and Vehicle Design in Santa Fe, New Mexico. The symposium provides an interdisciplinary forum for scientific exchange between users of driving assessment tools, applications and technology.

Dr. Lee presented findings from the AgeLab’s yearly survey intended to gauge public attitudes toward autonomous vehicles. This presentation examined data from three years on automation preferences and knowledge of the technology, with attention to the impact of age.

Dr. Reimer summarized research led by former AgeLab researcher Jack Terwilliger that examined behavioral and communicatory dynamics between drivers and pedestrians at crosswalks. Understanding how drivers and pedestrians communicate with each other at crosswalks will ultimately contribute to helping ensure that pedestrians will interact safely with vehicles with increasingly autonomous features.

Mehler presented a paper coauthored with Dr. Reimer on the workload of drivers by comparing physiological arousal (heart rate and skin conductance levels) during various driving situations to arousal levels observed during a cognitive workload reference task when not driving. The workload of “just driving” on the highway was found equivalent to that of engaging in a demanding cognitive task at rest.

Dr. Seppelt discussed a study that proposed a consumer-facing automation taxonomy to be compared against the existing SAE six levels of vehicle automation. She found a need for a more human-centered framing of automation technology types in terms of whether the technology places consumers in the “driving” or “riding” role.

Dr. Reimer and Mehler also presented two papers written by researchers from AgeLab’s artificial intelligence group. The first, lead-authored by Dina Aldawy, examined the role (or lack thereof) of eye contact in signaling intention between drivers and pedestrians at crossings. The second, lead-authored by Henri Schmidt, described a virtual reality environment designed to explore dynamics between pedestrians and drivers in socially conventional and unconventional situations.