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John P. Wann, D. K. Swapp; Where do we look when we steer and does it matter?. Journal of Vision 2001;1(3):185. doi: 10.1167/1.3.185.
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Land & Lee (1994) documented that car drivers direct gaze to the tangent point of the curve when steering a bend. Wann & Land (2000) described how fixating on an appropriate point on the road (tangent of the curve or the path) may simplify the task of steering. The first part of this study revisited Land & Lee, using head-mounted gaze tracking and simulated roadways presented on a 90deg FoV screen. Gaze records were digitized and catalogued by researchers who were not aware of the proposals in Wann & Land. The results suggest that for the majority of the time, during bend steering, gaze is directed to a point on the future path (centre of the road) rather than the tangent point. This experiment was then repeated with a divided attention task, of monitoring both the road and a speed indicator, and similar results were obtained. Finally a series of trials were constructed where gaze location was cued by small transparent indicators that were placed within the scene to test whether stabilizing gaze or fixating on the anticipated path resulted in more accurate control. The general pattern of results suggest that gaze fixation is an important component of controlling steering, but opens a debate as to whether the tangent point or future path have special status.
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