Effect of a 30-minute drive in a driving simulation on fatigue, visual attention and driving performance

Autoren: Bärtsch, Menozzi

Kategorie: Digitale Transformation, Einsatz von KI und Robotik

Chair: Flemisch

Fatigue is severely affecting driving skills and belongs to the major causes of traffic accidents. Driving while fatigue limits the ability to drive, such as maintaining a safe following distance or lane position, and impairs visual attention, a function, which is important in order to perceive what is happening in the environment.
In our work, we investigate whether already a 30-minute drive in a driving simulator increases tiredness. Furthermore, we evaluate how the driving behavior and the attention performance change over the 30 minutes.
Participants drove 30 minutes in a driving simulator on an oval shaped track. They were instructed to follow the car ahead at a constant distance. Before and after the drive, participants performed a visual attention test. Furthermore, before, during and after the driving task, participants’ sleepiness was recorded using the Karolinska Sleepiness Scale (KSS), and their mental workload was recorded using the Instantaneous Self Assessment (ISA) questionnaire.
Because of the pandemic situation, the study is not completed yet, but our results so far show tendencies of effects. The results indicate that the ISA value do not change with time. Whereas, the subjective level of sleepiness increases during the 30-minute drive on average by 1.5, which is comparable to previous studies. This indicates that already a short drive is a fatigue factor. Furthermore, comparing the results of the attention test recorded before and after the drive, no significant differences were found in the attention performance. However, the attention performance is significantly higher in the central visual field than in the periphery. Moreover, the driving behavior seems to change over time, which is particularly noticeable in the curves.
We conclude so far, that a 30-minute drive might be a possible method to make participants tired. There is already strong scientific support that driving parameters provide an indication of the level of tiredness. This study additionally suggests that particularly curved road sections should be used to identify fatigued driving, as the driving behavior in curves is more sensitive to fatigue than on straight road.

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Bärtsch, Menozzi