Nowadays, driving simulators are an useful tool for study and analysis of the geometric design and vertical signalling of roads, as well as of the driver’s behaviour in situations of interest. One of the advantages of this tool is reproducing real and critical situations - e.g. overtaking, abrupt weather change - in a cheaper and safer way. Furthermore, it permits the simulation of events that are rare and hardly reproductible in field experiments. In this project, a driving simulator coupled to an eye track system (SmartEye) will be used to compare the levels of attention and perception to speed signs by young, middle-aged and elderly drivers. For this purpose, we will study a 5-kilometer stretch of the highway Régis Bittencourt, reconstructed in the simulator installed in the Information Technology Section (ITS) of São Carlos School of Engineering of the University of São Paulo. Volunteer drivers of three age cohorts (18-29 years, 30-59 years, >60 years) will drive for this stretch. The results returned by the eye tracking system will possibilitate the analysis of how different age cohorts perceive speed signs. This way, it will be possible to further understand the relation between the driver’s attention to vertical signalling and his/her age.
News published in Agência FAPESP Newsletter about the scholarship: