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The validity of driving simulation for assessing differences between in-vehicle informational interfaces: A comparison with field testing

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Data from on-road and simulation studies were compared to assess the validity of measures generated in the simulator. In the on-road study, driver interaction with three manual address entry methods (keypad, touch screen and rotational controller) was assessed in an instrumented vehicle to evaluate relative usability and safety implications. A separate group of participants drove a similar protocol in a medium fidelity, fixed-base driving simulator to assess the extent to which simulator measures mirrored those obtained in the field. Visual attention and task measures mapped very closely between the two environments. In general, however, driving performance measures did not differentiate among devices at the level of demand employed in this study. The findings obtained for visual attention and task engagement suggest that medium fidelity simulation provides a safe and effective means to evaluate the effects of in-vehicle information systems (IVIS) designs on these categories of driver behaviour. Statement of Relevance: Realistic evaluation of the user interface of IVIS has significant implications for both user acceptance and safety. This study addresses the validity of driving simulation for accurately modelling differences between interface methodologies by comparing results from the field with those from a medium fidelity, fixed-base simulator.
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Keywords: destination entry; driving simulator; in-vehicle information system; validity; visual attention

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: MIT AgeLab and New England University Transportation Center, Cambridge, MA, USA,Department of Industrial Engineering, Tsinghua University, Beijing, China 2: MIT AgeLab and New England University Transportation Center, Cambridge, MA, USA

Publication date: March 1, 2010

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