Indirect Vision Driving With Fixed Flat Panel Displays for Near-Unity, Wide, and Extended Fields of Camera View

Report No. ARL-TR-2511
Authors: Christopher C. Smyth, James W. Gombash and Patricia M. Brucham
Date/Pages: June 2001; 164 pages
Abstract: Of interest to designers of future combat vehicles is the effect of indirect vision upon vehicle driving, particularly the effect of the camera lens field of view (FOV). In a field study with eight participants negotiating a road course in a military vehicle, the driving performance was measured for natural and indirect vision. The indirect vision system was driven with fixed panoramic flat panel, liquid crystal displays in the cab and a forward viewing monocular camera array mounted on the front roof of the vehicle and tilted slightly downward. The results are that for benign driving conditions (a well- marked course, good visibility, and essentially flat terrain), the participants successfully drove the vehicle with indirect vision for the different camera FOVs: near unity, wide, and extended. However, with natural vision, they drove the course 26.5% faster and made a nominal 0.5% fewer lane-marker strikes than they did with the indirect vision systems. Further, the course speed significantly decreased with increased camera FOV, while the number of lane marker strikes increased slightly. While the course speed decreased with increasing FOV, the speed of travel was perceived as increased because of the scene compression. Although the heart rate increased significantly with course speed because of the increased exertion, the estimated metabolic work output was least for the natural vision and increased with the indirect FOV because of the longer course times. Workload ratings show a significant increase in perceived workload with indirect vision, while an investigation of situational awareness shows an increase in the demand component. Most participants reported discomfort associated with motion sickness while in the moving vehicle with the displays. The estimated subjective stress rating of the drivers was least for natural vision and increased with indirect FOV. When the camera's FOVs were compared, the driving performance was fastest with the near-unity FOV.
Distribution: Approved for public release
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Last Update / Reviewed: June 1, 2001