Browse Publications Technical Papers 2019-01-1239
2019-04-02

Use of Cellphones as Alternative Driver Inputs in Passenger Vehicles 2019-01-1239

Automotive drive-by-wire systems have enabled greater mobility options for individuals with physical disabilities. To further expand the driving paradigm, a need exists to consider an alternative vehicle steering mechanism to meet specific needs and constraints. In this study, a cellphone steering controller was investigated using a fixed-base driving simulator. The cellphone incorporated the direction control of the vehicle through roll motion, as well as the brake and throttle functionality through pitch motion, a design that can assist disabled drivers by excluding extensive arm and leg movements. Human test subjects evaluated the cellphone with conventional vehicle control strategy through a series of roadway maneuvers. Specifically, two distinctive driving situations were studied: a) obstacle avoidance test, and b) city road traveling test. A conventional steering wheel with self-centering force feedback tuning was used for all the driving events for comparison. Based on the lane position and vehicle response data collected, the operators’ lane tracking capability during city road traveling was slightly inferior using a cellphone compared to traditional steering wheel. However, in extreme maneuvers like obstacle avoidance and sharp right turn, the lateral tracking performance of the cellphone was up to 12.07% better than that of the steering wheel. The cellphone’s superior performance during certain vehicle maneuvers indicates its potential as an alternative steering adaptation for disabled drivers.

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