Using Eye-tracking Data to Predict Situation Awareness in Real Time during Takeover Transitions in Conditionally Automated Driving

Feng Zhou, X. Jessie Yang, Joost de Winter

Situation awareness (SA) is critical to improving takeover performance during the transition period from automated driving to manual driving. Although many studies measured SA during or after the driving task, few studies have attempted to predict SA in real time in automated driving. In this work, we propose to predict SA during the takeover transition period in conditionally automated driving using eye-tracking and self-reported data. First, a tree ensemble machine learning model, named LightGBM (Light Gradient Boosting Machine), was used to predict SA. Second, in order to understand what factors influenced SA and how, SHAP (SHapley Additive exPlanations) values of individual predictor variables in the LightGBM model were calculated. These SHAP values explained the prediction model by identifying the most important factors and their effects on SA, which further improved the model performance of LightGBM through feature selection. We standardized SA between 0 and 1 by aggregating three performance measures (i.e., placement, distance, and speed estimation of vehicles with regard to the ego-vehicle) of SA in recreating simulated driving scenarios, after 33 participants viewed 32 videos with six lengths between 1 and 20 s. Using only eye-tracking data, our proposed model outperformed other selected machine learning models, having a root-mean-squared error (RMSE) of 0.121, a mean absolute error (MAE) of 0.096, and a 0.719 correlation coefficient between the predicted SA and the ground truth. The code is available at Our proposed model provided important implications on how to monitor and predict SA in real time in automated driving using eye-tracking data.

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