At present I am engaged in a number of projects related to the automotive sector, the main topic areas are outlined below.
Maintaining Driving Skills in Semi-Autonomous Vehicles
A recently funded project with University of Salzburg will explore the problem of how people can maintain their driving skills when vehicles increasing take over many of the common driving tasks. This may sound rather odd but it remains to be seen how vehicles can hand-back control in case of technical problems and/or when emergency situation arise in which they are incapable of responding adequately.
Older Projects while at the University of Luxembourg
Gamification of Commuting
Along with colleagues within the iGEAR project we are working on approaches to reduce traffic congestion by using gamification. The soon to be released LeaveNow game will explore how to alter commuter behaviour through a use of gamified means, while a second game will explore modification of activity patterns through the use of gamification. A final iGEAR game will be released later in 2015 and will bring together the various concepts developed within the project.
Drivers should always focus on the primary task of driving, just in case of a problem. But let’s face it we’ve all seen others using mobile phones, GPS devices and even tablets while driving. This of course also forgets that the centre console in cars is also an increasingly complex space which demands attention. Therefore there is a need to explore ways to increase attention on the primary task of driving while accepting that people will also do other things. To this end we are conducting work on a range of user interface types which are designed to reduce the cognitive load on the driver and thereby increase safety.
Simulated vs Real Driving Scenarios
In common with many universities we often conduct studies using relatively low-fidelity driving simulators. However, while such approaches are often used and valid issues remain in particular how close is the cognitive experience of the subject to reality. A number of studies were conducted which looked specifically at interacting with a device on a test track in Colmar-Berg, Luxembourg and an identical simulated environment using OpenDS (along with our own DriveLab platform). Interaction, telemetry and brain-computer interface measurements were taken. We would like to thank the staff at the Colmar-Berg driving training centre track and Garage M. Losch Bereldange for lending us a rather lovely Skoda Yeti for the duration of the trials.
DriveLab is our simulation and testing platform which lets us create experiences under simulated and driving conditions which we subsequently monitor. One example could be triggering events on a mobile phone based on speed, location or other data. The platform lets us trigger events then record telemetry, interaction and other data (including BCI) which can then be analysed. DriveLab is also being extended for use outside the driving domain so that we can test augmented reality user experiences etc.