Comparing spatially static and dynamic vibrotactile take-over requests in the driver seat

S. M. Petermeijer, S. Cieler, J. C F de Winter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

46 Citations (Scopus)
14 Downloads (Pure)


Vibrotactile stimuli can be effective as warning signals, but their effectiveness as directional take-over requests in automated driving is yet unknown. This study aimed to investigate the correct response rate, reaction times, and eye and head orientation for static versus dynamic directional take-over requests presented via vibrating motors in the driver seat. In a driving simulator, eighteen participants performed three sessions: 1) a session involving no driving (Baseline), 2) driving a highly automated car without additional task (HAD), and 3) driving a highly automated car while performing a mentally demanding task (N-Back). Per session, participants received four directional static (in the left or right part of the seat) and four dynamic (moving from one side towards the opposite left or right of the seat) take-over requests via two 6 × 4 motor matrices embedded in the seat back and bottom. In the Baseline condition, participants reported whether the cue was left or right, and in the HAD and N-Back conditions participants had to change lanes to the left or to the right according to the directional cue. The correct response rate was operationalized as the accuracy of the self-reported direction (Baseline session) and the accuracy of the lane change direction (HAD & N-Back sessions). The results showed that the correct response rate ranged between 94% for static patterns in the Baseline session and 74% for dynamic patterns in the N-Back session, although these effects were not statistically significant. Steering wheel touch and steering input reaction times were approximately 200 ms faster for static patterns than for dynamic ones. Eye tracking results revealed a correspondence between head/eye-gaze direction and lane change direction, and showed that head and eye-gaze movements where initiated faster for static vibrations than for dynamic ones. In conclusion, vibrotactile stimuli presented via the driver seat are effective as warnings, but their effectiveness as directional take-over requests may be limited. The present study may encourage further investigation into how to get drivers safely back into the loop.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)218-227
JournalAccident Analysis & Prevention
Issue numberPart A
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • Highly automated driving
  • Simulator
  • Tactile/haptic displays
  • Take-over request

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