Type of Document Dissertation Author Gallagher, John Paul URN etd-05032001-092804 Title An Assessment of the Attention Demand Associated with the Processing of Information for In-Vehicle Information Systems (IVIS) Degree PhD Department Industrial and Systems Engineering Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title Dingus, Thomas A. Committee Chair Barfield, Woodrow S. Committee Member Kurstedt, Harold A. Jr. Committee Member Neale, Vicki L. Committee Member Wierwille, Walter W. Committee Member Keywords
- In-vehicle infromation systems
- attention demand
- situation awareness
Date of Defense 2001-04-25 Availability unrestricted AbstractAn Assessment of the Attention Demand Associated with the Processing of
Information for In-Vehicle Information Systems (IVIS)
John Paul Gallagher
Technological interventions are being considered to alleviate congestion and to improve the
quality of driving on our nation’s highways. These new technology interventions will be capable
of increasing the amount of information provided to the driver; therefore, steps must be taken to
ensure they do not require a high attention demand. (Limited attention resources can be diverted
from the primary task of driving to a secondary in-vehicle task). The attention demand required
as part of the process of extracting information has been studied relatively extensively.
However, the processing required to make complex decisions is not well understood and
provides cause for concern. This study investigated the attention demand required to perform
several types of tasks, such as selecting a route, selecting the cheapest route, and selecting the
fastest route. The three objectives of this study were:
1) To investigate driver performance during IVIS tasks that required additional processing of
information after the extraction of information from a visual display.
2) To develop a method for evaluating driver performance with regard to safety. This task was
accomplished by performing an extensive review of the literature, and developing two
3) To provide descriptive data on the proportion of drivers who exceeded a threshold of driver
performance for each of the different IVIS tasks.
An instrumented vehicle, equipped with cameras and sensors, was used to investigate on-road
driver behavior on a four-lane divided road with good visibility. A confederate vehicle was
driven in front of the instrumented vehicle to create a vehicle following situation. Thirty-six
drivers participated in this study. Age, presentation format, information density, and type of task
were the independent variables used in this study.
Results from this study indicate that a high proportion of drivers’ will have substantially
degraded performance performing IVIS tasks such as selecting a route or a hotel from several
possibilities. Findings also indicate that tasks involving computations, such as selecting the
quickest or cheapest route, require a high attention demand and consequently should not be
performed by a driver when the vehicle is in motion. In addition, text-based messages in
paragraph format should not be presented to the driver while the vehicle is in motion. The
graphic icon format should be utilized for route planning tasks.
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