Evaluating in-vehicle voice control interface performance

The Challenge 

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) needs further empirical research to understand the potential for driver distraction that may be caused by using voice control systems in vehicles. Established measures of drivers’ eye glance behavior and cognitive load could be useful for evaluating such systems. However, it is not clear how such laboratory measures relate to real-world crash risk.

Westat, with the University of Washington and University of Wisconsin, will conduct further empirical studies to examine the links between laboratory measures of driver distraction and on-road driving performance.

Our Solutions 

  • The project will consider how a large, existing set of naturalistic driving data can be used to estimate crash risk for driver interactions and voice control systems that, for example, may alter their response time for a hazard in the forward roadway.

The Results 

  • The findings from this project will inform development of NHTSA’s Driver Distraction Guidelines, which may include evaluation protocols for voice control systems.

Our Client 

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)