Our goal is to understand what drivers can perceive when they are not attending to the road ahead and the consequences of their perceptions for safety.

Recently, cars have become much more automated, and even capable of driving themselves in some circumstances. However, drivers’ capabilities have not changed. Therefore, it is more important than ever to understand what drivers can and cannot perceive in the environment around the car, and how their ability to perceive the world changes when they are not looking out at the road ahead. A automated car will require the driver to attend to the road less than before, and more prone to looking away from the road and attending to other devices, making it harder for them to understand what is going on around the car. This project uses laboratory methods in vision science to answer questions focused on what information the driver can get from peripheral vision and what the implications of relying on this information are. Results from this project will improve our understanding of drivers’ capabilities, and inform decisions in automated driving and safety systems.

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Impact Areas