Gaze doesn’t always lead steering

Esko Lehtonen, Otto Lappi, Noora Koskiahde, Tuomas Anttoni Mansikka, Jarkko Lauri Ilari Hietamäki, Kari Heikki Ilmari Summala

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

Abstract

In car driving, gaze typically leads the steering when negotiating curves. The aim of the current study was to investigate whether drivers also use this gaze-leads-steering strategy when time-sharing between driving and a visual secondary task.

Fourteen participants drove an instrumented car along a motorway while performing a secondary task: looking at a specified visual target as long and as much as they felt it was safe to do so. They made six trips, and in each trip the target was at a different location relative to the road ahead. They were free to glance back at the road at any time. Gaze behaviour was measured with an eye tracker, and steering corrections were recorded from the vehicle’s CAN bus. Both in-car ‘Fixation’ targets and outside ‘Pursuit’ targets were used.

Drivers often used a gaze-leads-steering strategy, glancing at the road ahead 200–600 ms before executing steering corrections. However, when the targets were less eccentric (requiring a smaller change in glance direction relative to the road ahead), the reverse strategy, in which glances to the road ahead followed steering corrections with 0–400 ms latency, was clearly present. The observed use of strategies can be interpreted in terms of predictive processing: The gaze-leads-steering strategy is driven by the need to update the visual information and is therefore modulated by the quality/quantity of peripheral information. Implications for steering models are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
JournalAccident Analysis and Prevention
Volume121
Pages (from-to)268-278
Number of pages11
ISSN0001-4575
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2018
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Fields of Science

  • 6162 Cognitive science
  • eye tracking
  • driving
  • peripheral vision

Projects

MULSIMCO: Multilevel Traffic Simulation with Cognitive Basis (Academy of Finland Research Project)

Summala, H., Lappi, O., Pekkanen, J., Tuhkanen, S., Rinkkala, P., Itkonen, T., Lehtonen, E. & Frantsi, R.

SUOMEN AKATEMIA

01/09/201431/08/2018

Project: Research project

Equipment

Cite this

Lehtonen, E., Lappi, O., Koskiahde, N., Mansikka, T. A., Hietamäki, J. L. I., & Summala, K. H. I. (2018). Gaze doesn’t always lead steering. Accident Analysis and Prevention, 121, 268-278. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.aap.2018.09.026