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Farid I. Kandil, Alexander Rotter, Markus Lappe; Car drivers attend to different gaze targets when negotiating closed vs. open bends. Journal of Vision 2010;10(4):24. doi: 10.1167/10.4.24.
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© 2016 Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology.
On winding roads, car drivers have to control speed and steering angle in order to keep the car in an optimal lane position. Among the strategies proposed for steering regulation are the use of the tangent point, a geometrical method, and gaze sampling, in which retinal flow lines obtained by tracking a spot on the future road need to be assessed. Previous studies used a variety of scenarios (real-road vs. simulator) and different road designs (closed vs. open bends, different curvatures) and found results speaking in favor of either strategy. Here, we investigate what effects the openness of the bend, i.e. the sight distance of the driver, has on the percentage with which drivers use the tangent point. Six drivers drove a test car repeatedly through a series of twelve bends on real roads while their eye-movements were recorded. Results show that the reliance on the tangent point is generally high and increases with the closedness (shorter sight distances) of the bend and higher curvature. In open bends they alternatively look far into the straight road segments adjacent to the bend, but do not use gaze sampling.
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