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Yuki Okafuji, Callum David Mole, Natasha Merat, Takanori Fukao, Yasuyoshi Yokokohji, Hiroshi Inou, Richard McGilchrist Wilkie; Steering bends and changing lanes: The impact of optic flow and road edges on two point steering control. Journal of Vision 2018;18(9):14. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/18.9.14.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
Successful driving involves steering corrections that respond to immediate positional errors while also anticipating upcoming changes to the road layout ahead. In popular steering models these tasks are often treated as separate functions using two points: the near region for correcting current errors, and the far region for anticipating future steering requirements. Whereas two-point control models can capture many aspects of driver behavior, the nature of perceptual inputs to these two “points” remains unclear. Inspired by experiments that solely focused on road-edge information (Land & Horwood, 1995), two-point models have tended to ignore the role of optic flow during steering control. There is recent evidence demonstrating that optic flow should be considered within two-point control steering models (Mole, Kountouriotis, Billington, & Wilkie, 2016). To examine the impact of optic flow and road edges on two-point steering control we used a driving simulator to selectively and systematically manipulate these components. We removed flow and/or road-edge information from near or far regions of the scene, and examined how behaviors changed when steering along roads where the utility of far-road information varied. While steering behaviors were strongly influenced by the road-edges, there were also clear contributions of optic flow to steering responses. The patterns of steering were not consistent with optic flow simply feeding into two-point control; rather, the global optic flow field appeared to support effective steering responses across the time-course of each trajectory.
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