Multimedia observation suite

This suite includes video and photo recording devices and multi-media editing software used to prepare instructions and demonstrations. The suite is configured with Observer software to support observational analyses of driver behavior recorded on video. These analyses are used to supplement and interpret other data sources recorded in the simulator, test track, and on-road test environments.

Eye tracking

driver wearing eye tracker

Two different eye tracking systems are available to address different kinds of research applications. Both units have been integrated into the simulator and instrumented vehicles and provide real-time integration and synchronization of eye tracking, driver behavior, and vehicle data. An important feature as a result of the integration is that real-time gaze vectors can be employed to trigger events and modify the environment dynamically in the simulated or test track facilities. For example, a lead vehicle brake event on the test track can be triggered when a driver is visually distracted as indicated by a sustained eye glance to an in-vehicle entertainment system, is physically distracted as evidenced by a sustained physical button press of an in-vehicle entertainment system, and has achieved a criterion time headway threshold is behind a lead vehicle.

  • Dash Mounted Eye Tracker: The FaceLab 4.0 unit uses visual processing of facial features and retinal reflections to provide accurate ±2 degrees and robust tracking of both eye gaze and head tracking without the use of head-mounted equipment. The unit measures eye lid closure and can be used as a real-time assessment tool for driver fatigue. This system is integrated into the driving simulator with calibrated regions of interest. An additional software module can also track gaze toward specific objects within the virtual environment.
  • Head Mounted Eye Tracker: The IScan eye tracker is a portable system that uses retinal reflect and an optical head tracker to provide high-resolution measurement of eye and gaze vectors using a lightweight set of sensors attached to a naturalistic baseball cap. This system includes the ability for real-time simultaneous tracking of up to 256 objects in the environment. Currently, the system is integrated into the sensor and data recording system of an instrumented vehicle. This provides real time access and integration of psychophysiology, gaze, and performance data.

Psycho-physiological monitoring

The HumanFIRST Laboratory operates two psycho-physiology data collection units in order to quantify the physiological changes that occur commensurate with psychological changes (e.g., increase in mental workload as exhibited by changes in heart rate variability). Both units are portable and can be employed in the laboratory, simulation, and test track and on-road facilities.

  • PSYLAB Stand Alone Monitor: PSYLAB (Stand-Alone-Monitor) is a portable psychophysiology recording unit that is adaptable to a variety of measurement configurations. Currently, the system is configured to measure ECG and GSR and is integrated into the sensor and data recording system of a road vehicle. This provides real time access and integration of psychophysiology, gaze, and driving data in order to quantify both physical and mental workload.
  • Neuroscan NuAmp: The Neuroscan NuAmp system is a medically certified ambulatory psychophysiology recording unit that is robust to many typical forms of electromagnetic interference. It is a multi-channel system and includes EEG, ECG, EMG, and EOG and employs a high data-sampling rate to support both time and frequency based analyses. This system is employed in laboratory, simulation, test track, and on-road studies and is synchronized with simulator, test track, and on-road test vehicle data channels. This capability provides real time access and integration of psychophysiology, eye tracking, and driving data in order to quantify and correlate both physical and mental workload.

Psychomotor test battery

driver wearing eye tracker

The Vienna Test System is a comprehensive psychological and motor test battery covering a range of perception, cognitive and psychomotor control tests. The system includes hardware interfaces (controls) for specific tests, validated automatic scoring schemes, and normative datasets for driver populations. There is a validated series of tests specific for traffic psychology that is currently being evaluated for inclusion in the standard European driver licensing examination. The Vienna Test System is also employed by the HumanFIRST program to correlate psychomotor metrics with driving behavior and performance.

Alcohol detection

The Draeger Alcotest 7410Plus is a portable breathalyzer system using a heat- and temperature-controlled electrochemical fuel cell that is certified for U.S. Department of Transportation alcohol testing. This unit measures breath alcohol concentration (BrAC) and converts it to blood alcohol concentration (BAC) using a 1:2,100 BrAC-to-BAC partition coefficient. The breathalyzer is calibrated by the manufacturer just prior to commencing each study to ensure accurate performance. The research staff also verifies the accuracy of the unit periodically during the study using the air blank test provided by the manufacturer.

Sound meter

The Brüel & Kjaer Type 2240 Sound Meter measures time-averaged sound level (LA, LAeq, LAMax., Lcpeak) as defined by the IEC 61672-1 Class 1 standard, and complies with IEC 60651 Type 1, and IEC 60804 Type 1 standards as well as ANSI S1.4 and S1.43. This sound meter is used to record sound levels to quantify and replicate experimental conditions (ambient sounds) and stimuli (e.g., ERP methodology) between real-world and simulation facilities.

Vision tester

The Optic 2500 Vision Tester is a portable system for rapid monocular and binocular vision testing including ophthalmic and driver rehabilitation assessments for driver licensing (DOT) examinations. This system is used to pre-screen participants prior to participation in experiments and also to correlate metrics of visual ability with driving behavior and performance.