Master's Thesis Defense - Ahmed Imtiaz
- Friday, August 28, 2015 at 10:00am
- Roberts Hall, Room 401 - view map
An Eye Scanning Approach of Exploring the Experience Level at which Novice Drivers Exhibit Hazard Perfecption Skill as Good as their Experienced Counterparts.
Hazard perception is a key skill needed to drive a vehicle safely. Literature has shown that this skill improves with experience. Little is known regarding the window of time in which novice young drivers start exhibiting essential hazard perception skills as efficiently as their experienced counterparts do. This research was an attempt to address this unknown through the use of a semi-naturalistic driving study employing eye tracking technologies and by examining the roadway eye scanning pattern of young and highly experienced drivers with respect to eight indicators: percentage of gaze duration, mean gaze duration, percentage of time taken to make the first gaze at the study region of interest, gaze rate, gaze heading, gaze pitch, head heading and head pitch. A total of 90 participants completed the study. Participants were split into six groups (15 each) on the basis of their driving experience, ranging from novice young drivers with less than 1 year of driving experience, to highly experienced drivers with more than 10 years of experience and asked to drive through two predetermined potentially hazardous scenarios. An observation time window, beginning at the first moment the potential hazard came into view through the moment it had passed, was extracted from the recorded eye-movement videos. Based on the time window, necessary data were collected and analyzed. The results of the study indicated that novice drivers do not differ significantly with other young drivers, but their visual search strategy remains inflexible even after two years of experience. However, with growing experience, young drivers learn to look farther ahead and scan more widely along their horizontal field of view. The study thus adopted the Equivalence Testing procedure to quantify the transition time window from novice to experienced drivers. Each of the novice drivers’ groups was compared against the highly experienced drivers. Based on the overall results and careful observation of descriptive statistics, the study concluded that after five years of driving experience young drivers’ visual search pattern can be considered comparable to their experienced counterparts.