Research Topics

Automotive

Introduction

Many studies concur that on average 80% of all vehicular related accidents occur when a driver is distracted; other studies conclude that the top five causes, in descending order, for this distraction are (1) using/dialling a mobile phone (2) adjusting radio/cassette or compact disc players (3) adjusting vehicle/climate controls (4) eating/drinking (5) passenger/child distraction.

Driving safety can be linked to the fact that driving is a multi-tasking challenge. The driving task itself is straightforward and does not introduce increased workload to most drivers. However, once the driver is engaged with additional tasks even as simple as adjusting and interacting with the sound system, air-conditioner, mirrors, lights, or any other function and control, these become additional concurrent tasks. Empirical research has demonstrated that while one is engaged in a primary task (e.g., driving), doing additional tasks can constitute an interruption that becomes disruptive. The main reason researchers suggest for the adverse impact of interruptions is that user attention is a scarce resource, and users are susceptible to interruption overload. The nature and timing of interruptions are important in determining whether the interruption will be disruptive or actually task enhancing. This is tightly linked to the claim that one of the largest causes of automobile accidents is driver distraction, and the interruption of the primary driving task constitutes such distraction.

Research Interests

My research interests in this area are focused on the development of user interfaces for automobiles that drastically reduce driver distraction