Browse Publications Technical Papers 1999-01-0892
1999-03-01

Development of a Steering Entropy Method for Evaluating Driver Workload 1999-01-0892

The authors have developed a steering entropy method to easily and accurately quantify the workload imposed on drivers who are engaged in activities apart from the normal driving operations of longitudinal and lateral control. A driver's steering behavior tends to become more discontinuous while performing an activity in addition to driving. To quantify these discontinuities, steering entropy values are obtained from a time-series history of steering angle data. A special-purpose driving simulator and a test procedure have been developed that allow workload evaluations to be conducted efficiently. The simulator and test procedure were used to evaluate the additional workload incurred by 14 different types of activities. The steering entropy results were compared with a dual task method as well as a subjective evaluation method. These results showed a high degree of correlation between the three approaches, which confirmed the validity of the steering entropy method as a means to quantify workload. Measurements were then made of progressively more difficult tasks. It was found that the steering entropy values increased in direct proportion to the degree of (subjective) task difficulty, which corroborated the high measurement accuracy of this method.

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