Evaluation of Effects on Improvement in a Driver's Reaction by Spatial Warning Sounds

Hiroyuki HOSHINO  Shin'ichi KOJIMA  Yuji UCHIYAMA  Takero HONGO  

IEICE TRANSACTIONS on Information and Systems   Vol.E85-D   No.11   pp.1793-1800
Publication Date: 2002/11/01
Online ISSN: 
Print ISSN: 0916-8532
Type of Manuscript: Special Section PAPER (Special Issue on Information System Technologies for ITS)
auditory display,  spatial sound,  sound localization,  reaction time,  eye movement,  

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Recently, information display equipment such as a navigation system has often come to be installed in a vehicle, and a variety of useful information has been offered to the driver by voice and images while driving. The necessity of improving safety when the driver receives such information has come to be stressed. As one of the means of solving this problem, we can develop a system that presents the driving and road conditions information such as a lane changing car to the driver by using a warning sound. The purpose of our study is to clarify the effectiveness of an auditory display that uses spatial sounds on such a system. An experiment for measuring the driver's reaction time and eye movements to LED lighting during actual driving has been carried out to investigate whether the spatial sound can quicken the driver's operation and decrease human error. We evaluated the effectiveness by two measures, average reaction time and the number of largely delayed reactions. We considered that the average reaction time corresponds to the quickness of the driver's operation, and the number of largely delayed reactions corresponds to the probability of human error. As a result of the experiment, the use of directional sound clearly showed better performance than the use of monaural sound and no sound in the number of largely delayed reactions. Moreover, we analyzed the factors involved in delay of the reaction by the results of eye movement measurements. Consequently, it has been found that directional sound can decrease the number of the largely delayed reactions, which lead to an accident during actual driving.