How Do Environmental Factors Affect Driver’s Gaze Direction and Head Movements?

One of the major aspects of autonomous vehicles' (AVs) acceptance in society is how well they can offer comfort and a human-like driving experience to the user. To address such concerns, AVs, in addition to addressing safety, reliability, and resiliency need to be able to respond to drivers and passengers’ behaviors, needs, and preferences which are dynamic and change throughout the time. This matter is also important in considering other drivers and their perception of the AVs around them, and how they can predict what the AVs around them will be doing in different scenarios. To address such issues, it is important to understand how different environmental factors (e.g., weather, traffic density, noise levels, road type, passenger, etc.) impact driver behaviors and how these behaviors differ among individuals. Studies have shown that environmental factors affect driving behaviors. For instance, weather conditions and the presence of a passenger have been shown to significantly affect the driving speed. Metrics such as gaze and head movements can be potentially used to understand the effect of environmental factors on driver’s behavior in real-time. This research examines the effects of environmental factors on driver’s gaze direction and head movements by comparing and contrasting the differences in each condition and individual differences among people. 

Principal Investigator: 

Vahid Balali

PI Contact Information:
California State University, Long Beach

Project Number: