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Technical Paper

Driver Perceptual Adaptation to Nonplanar Rearview Mirrors

This study examined perceptual adaptation to nonplanar (spherical convex and aspheric) rearview mirrors. Subjects made magnitude estimates of the distance to a car seen in a rearview mirror. Three different mirrors were used: plane, aspheric (with a large spherical section having a radius of 1400 mm), and simple convex (with a radius of 1000 mm). Previous research relevant to perceptual adaptation to nonplanar mirrors was reviewed. It was argued that, in spite of some cases of explicit interest in the process of learning to use nonplanar mirrors, previous research has not adequately addressed the possibility of perceptual adaptation. The present experiment involved three phases: (1) a pretest phase in which subjects made distance judgments but received no feedback, (2) a training phase in which they made judgments and did receive feedback, and (3) a posttest phase with the same procedure as the pretest phase.
Technical Paper

A Field Study of Distance Perception with Large-Radius Convex Rearview Mirrors

One of the primary reasons that FMVSS 111 currently requires flat rearview mirrors as original equipment on the driver's side of passenger cars is a concern that convex mirrors might reduce safety by causing drivers to overestimate the distances to following vehicles. Several previous studies of the effects of convex rearview mirrors have indicated that they do cause overestimations of distance, but of much lower magnitude than would be expected based on the mirrors' levels of image minification and the resulting visual angles experienced by drivers. Previous studies have investigated mirrors with radiuses of curvature up to 2000 mm. The present empirical study was designed to investigate the effects of mirrors with larger radiuses (up to 8900 mm). Such results are of interest because of the possible use of large radiuses in some aspheric mirror designs, and because of the information they provide about the basic mechanisms by which convex mirrors affect distance perception.
Technical Paper

Varying Levels of Reality in Human Factors Testing: Parallel Experiments at Mcity and in a Driving Simulator

Mcity at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor provides a realistic off-roadway environment in which to test vehicles and drivers in complex traffic situations. It is intended for testing of various levels of vehicle automation, from advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) to fully self-driving vehicles. In a recent human factors study of interfaces for teen drivers, we performed parallel experiments in a driving simulator and Mcity. We implemented driving scenarios of moderate complexity (e.g., passing a vehicle parked on the right side of the road just before a pedestrian crosswalk, with the parked vehicle partially blocking the view of the crosswalk) in both the simulator and at Mcity.
Technical Paper

Distance Cues and Fields of View in Rear Vision Systems

The effects of image size on perceived distance have been of concern for convex rearview mirrors as well as camera-based rear vision systems. We suggest that the importance of image size is limited to cases-such as current rearview mirrors-in which the field of view is small. With larger, richer fields of view it is likely that other distance cues will dominate image size, thereby substantially diminishing the concern that distortions of size will result in distortions of distance perception. We report results from an experiment performed in a driving simulator, with static simulated rearward images, in which subjects were asked to make judgments about the distance to a rearward vehicle. The images showed a field of view substantially wider than provided by any of the individual rearview mirrors in current systems. The field of view was 38 degrees wide and was presented on displays that were either 16.7 or 8.5 degrees wide, thus minifying images by factors of 0.44 or 0.22.
Technical Paper

Framing Effects on Distance Perception in Rear-Vision Displays

The increasing availability of camera-based displays for indirect vision in vehicles is providing new opportunities to supplement drivers' direct views of the roadway and surrounding traffic, and is also raising new issues about how drivers perceive the positions and movements of surrounding vehicles. We recently reported evidence that drivers' perception of the distance to rearward vehicles seen in camera-based displays is affected not only by the visual angles subtended by the images of those vehicles, but also by the sizes of those images relative to the sizes of the displays within which they are seen (an influence that we have referred to as a framing effect). There was also evidence for a similar, but weaker, effect with rearview mirrors.