Augmented reality cues and elderly driver hazard perception

Mark C. Schall, Michelle L. Rusch, John D. Lee, Jeffrey D. Dawson, Geb Thomas, Nazan Aksan, Matthew Rizzo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

46 Scopus citations


Objective: The aim of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of augmented reality (AR) cues in improving driving safety among elderly drivers who are at increased crash risk because of cognitive impairments. Background: Cognitively challenging driving environments pose a particular crash risk for elderly drivers. AR cuing is a promising technology to mitigate risk by directing driver attention to roadway hazards. We investigate whether AR cues improve or interfere with hazard perception in elderly drivers with age-related cognitive decline. Method: A total of 20 elderly (M = 73 years, SD = 5) licensed drivers with a range of cognitive abilities measured by a speed-of-processing (SOP) composite participated in a 1-hr drive in an interactive, fixed-base driving simulator. Each participant drove through six straight, 6-mile-long, rural roadway scenarios following a lead vehicle. AR cues directed attention to potential roadside hazards in three of the scenarios, and the other three were uncued (baseline) drives. Effects of AR cuing were evaluated with respect to (a) detection of hazardous target objects, (b) interference with detecting nonhazardous secondary objects, and (c) impairment in maintaining safe distance behind a lead vehicle. Results: AR cuing improved the detection of hazardous target objects of low visibility. AR cues did not interfere with detection of nonhazardous secondary objects and did not impair ability to maintain safe distance behind a lead vehicle. SOP capacity did not moderate those effects. Conclusion: AR cues show promise for improving elderly driver safety by increasing hazard detection likelihood without interfering with other driving tasks, such as maintaining safe headway.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)643-658
Number of pages16
JournalHuman Factors
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • aging and individual differences
  • displays and controls
  • driver behavior
  • psychomotor processes
  • sensory and perceptual processes
  • simulation and virtual reality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Human Factors and Ergonomics
  • Applied Psychology
  • Behavioral Neuroscience

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