· Contributors · Organizations ·
Putting the Brain in the Driver’s Seat: Using Transcranial Doppler Sonography to Examine Vigilance in Automated Driving
DescriptionThe current study compared drivers’ hazard detection performance in a vigilance task when they were operating the vehicle manually and when the vehicle was automated. Additionally, a physiological tool called transcranial Doppler sonography (TCD) was utilized to examine cerebral blood flow velocity (CBFV), an index of cognitive resource utilization. Participants monitored a roadway for hazards that appeared at a slow or fast event rate. Results revealed that higher CBFV occurred in the automated drive compared to the manual drive. Hazard detection performance declined over the time for the automated drive regardless of event rate, whereas performance in the manual drive only declined when event rate was fast. Both CBFV and detection performance results suggest that the demands of automated driving may be greater than the demands of manual driving. Taken together, the current findings demonstrate that drivers’ hazard detection performance and cognitive resource utilization are negatively impacted by vehicle automation.