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Franck Mars; Driving around bends with manipulated eye-steering coordination. Journal of Vision 2008;8(11):10. doi: 10.1167/8.11.10.
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This study investigated the link between drivers' gaze positioning and steering behavior when negotiating bends. This was conducted by directing the driver's point of gaze toward a target situated in the vicinity of the tangent point (TP), a region known to attract a significant amount of ocular fixations and thought to provide some useful input for anticipatory steering (M. F. Land & D. N. Lee, 1994). The orientation of gaze relative to the TP was manipulated and the resulting steering behavior was compared to that obtained with a free-gaze strategy. The data revealed that constraining eye movements did not impair steering behavior. On the contrary, the continuous tracking of the fixation point promoted smoother steering control, irrespective of the position of that point. This confirms that previewing the road curvature by tracking a distant point contributes to the stability of steering. The direction of the TP does not appear to be an essential parameter in that process (D. D. Salvucci & R. Gray, 2004). The results also indicate that continuously looking at the TP or further inside the bend yielded a deviation of the trajectory. This is consistent with the hypothesis that drivers look inside the lane boundaries to determine the future path (R. M. Wilkie & J. P. Wann, 2006).
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