Effect of Adaptive and Fixed Shared Steering Control on Distracted Driver Behavior

Zheng Wang, Satoshi Suga, Edric John Cruz Nacpil, Bo Yang, Kimihiko Nakano

Driver distraction is a well-known cause for traffic collisions worldwide. Studies have indicated that shared steering control, which actively provides haptic guidance torque on the steering wheel, effectively improves the performance of distracted drivers. Recently, adaptive shared steering control based on the physiological status of the driver has been developed, although its effect on distracted driver behavior remains unclear. To this end, a high-fidelity driving simulator experiment was conducted involving 18 participants performing double lane changes. The experimental conditions comprised two driver states: attentive and distracted. Under each condition, evaluations were performed on three types of haptic guidance: none (manual), fixed authority, and adaptive authority based on feedback from the forearm surface electromyography of the driver. Evaluation results indicated that, for both attentive and distracted drivers, haptic guidance with adaptive authority yielded lower driver workload and reduced lane departure risk than manual driving and fixed authority. Moreover, there was a tendency for distracted drivers to reduce grip strength on the steering wheel to follow the haptic guidance with fixed authority, resulting in a relatively shorter double lane change duration.

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