Driving a car is often important for independent daily living. Unfortunately, for the millions of drivers (and even more potential drivers) who have a perceptual, cognitive, or physical disability, driving can be a major challenge. Assistive technology can help many people with disabilities retain or regain their ability to drive.
The IVAT Project is focusing (for now) on helping drivers who have had a traumatic brain injury. Many of these individuals have perceptual, cognitive, attention, decision-making, and emotion regulation challenges. Carefully designed software solutions, running on hardware that is integrated into the vehicle's data streams, are proving to be very effective.
Rehabilitation engineers at Shepherd Center in Atlanta developed a prototype physical button box that helps drivers with meta-attention deficits remember that they are driving, and helps them remember to complete the basic driving tasks of checking mirrors, maintaining spacing from other cars, and obeying trafic signs. The GT Sonification Lab then implemented that same functionality in a software platform, on a touch-screen based carPC running Centrafuse Auto.
Now, the IVAT Project is continuing as a collaborative effort by all these groups to develop and deploy a whole suite of software-based in-vehicle assistive technologies to help all kinds of drivers, especially those who have perceptual or cognitive impairments. Clearly, within the largely visual driving task, auditory displays and sonification are a powerful way to present information to a driver. The GT Sonification Lab is leveraging our experience in multimodal user interfaces of all types, and utilizing the many facilities available to us, including the GT School of Psychology's Driving Research Facility.
Publications Relating to the Research
(See the Publications page for all Sonification Lab publications.)
(Note: Please do not quote or cite preprints without permission.)
This research has been supported, in part, by grants from the National Science Foundation (NSF). Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the funding agencies or sponsors.