Effect of In-Vehicle Route Guidance Systems on Driver Workload and Choice of Vehicle Speed: Findings From a Driving Simulator Experiment
Raghavan Srinivasan Dowling College, Oakdale, NY
Paul P. Jovanis University of California, Davis
Recent innovations in microcomputer and display technology have led to the feasibility of sophisticated route guidance systems that can help drivers in choosing and maintaining efficient routes. Human factors professionals have been concerned about the degree and severity of driver distraction resulting from provision of guidance information in the vehicle. The objective of this study was to explore how the characteristics of route guidance systems affect the attentional demand and efficiency of the driving task. Specifically, this study was conducted to understand how drivers react to complex route guidance systems under varying task demands resulting from driving in different types of roads.
There are three primary issues that motivate this study. In order to place these issues in the proper context, consider a brief discussion of the literature.
Route guidance information may be presented using visual displays, audio messages, or both. Most of the information needed for the driving task is obtained visually, so it has been argued that audio route guidance systems will lead to less distraction from the driving task. However, at the same time, audio messages can be considered intrusive ( Stokes, Wickens, & Kite, 1990). A recent study by Parkes and Burnett ( 1993) indicated that subjects