Simple gaze-contingent cues guide eye movements in a realistic driving simulator

Laura Pomarjanschi, Michael Dorr, Peter J. Bex, Erhardt Barth


Looking at the right place at the right time is a critical component of driving skill. Therefore, gaze guidance has the potential to become a valuable driving assistance system. In previous work, we have already shown that complex gaze-contingent stimuli can guide attention and reduce the number of accidents in a simple driving simulator. We here set out to investigate whether cues that are simple enough to be implemented in a real car can also capture gaze during a more realistic driving task in a high-fidelity driving simulator. We used a state-of-the-art, wide-field-of-view driving simulator with an integrated eye tracker. Gaze-contingent warnings were implemented using two arrays of light-emitting diodes horizontally fitted below and above the simulated windshield. Thirteen volunteering subjects drove along predetermined routes in a simulated environment populated with autonomous traffic. Warnings were triggered during the approach to half of the intersections, cueing either towards the right or to the left. The remaining intersections were not cued, and served as controls. The analysis of the recorded gaze data revealed that the gaze-contingent cues did indeed have a gaze guiding effect, triggering a significant shift in gaze position towards the highlighted direction. This gaze shift was not accompanied by changes in driving behaviour, suggesting that the cues do not interfere with the driving task itself.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHuman Vision and Electronic Imaging XVIII
EditorsBernice E. Rogowlitz, Thrasyvoulos N. Pappas, Huib de Ridder
Number of pages8
Publication date14.03.2013
Article number8651-10
ISBN (Print)978-0819494245
Publication statusPublished - 14.03.2013
EventHuman Vision and Electronic Imaging 2013 - Hyatt Regency San Francisco Airport Hotel, San Francsico, United States
Duration: 03.02.201307.02.2013
Conference number: 8651


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