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Effect of in-vehicle touch screen position on driver performance

In: Proceedings of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society ... Annual Meeting. Vol. 52, no. 23 (2008), p. 1893-1897.

Authors: Helen J. A. Fuller, Omer Tsimhoni, Matthew P. Reed.

The effect of touch-screen monitor placement on in-vehicle task performance and driving performance was examined in a driving simulator. Sixteen subjects drove behind a lead vehicle while interacting with a menu-based interface that required looking, planning, reaching, and touching. The vehicle dynamics of the simulator were adjusted to simulate two vehicles: a normal-weight car and a heavy-weight truck. The monitor was placed in one of four different positions that had varying levels of visual and physical difficulty. Two positions had a short reach distance and two had a long reach distance. For each monitor pair, one position had a shorter visual distance from the road ahead and one had a longer visual distance. Monitor positions that were at greater visual distances from the road ahead or that were farther physically from the subject resulted in longer in-vehicle task completion times. The average task time increased from 17.8 seconds for the closest monitor position to 35.1 seconds for the farthest. Although driving performance, as measured by the RMS error between the subject vehicle and the lead vehicle and delay in speed change, was adversely affected by performance of an in-vehicle task, it was relatively unaffected by monitor position.

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