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Changes in the Correlation Between Eye and Steering Movements Indicate Driver Distraction

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2 Author(s)
Yekhshatyan, L. ; Univ. of Iowa, Iowa City, IA, USA ; Lee, J.D.

Driver distraction represents an increasingly important contributor to crashes and fatalities. Technology that can detect and mitigate distraction by alerting distracted drivers could play a central role in maintaining safety. Based on either eye measures or driver performance measures, numerous algorithms to detect distraction have been developed. Combining both eye glance and vehicle data could enhance distraction detection. The goal of this paper is to evaluate whether changes in the eye-steering correlation structure can indicate distraction. Drivers performed visual, cognitive, and cognitive/visual tasks while driving in a simulator. The auto- and cross-correlations of horizontal eye position and steering wheel angle show that eye movements associated with road scanning produce a low eye-steering correlation. However, even this weak correlation is sensitive to distraction. Time lead associated with the maximum correlation is sensitive to all three types of distraction, and the maximum correlation coefficient is most strongly affected by off-road glances. These results demonstrate that eye-steering correlation statistics can detect distraction and differentiate between types of distraction.

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Intelligent Transportation Systems, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:14 ,  Issue: 1 )