Tactile stimulations and wheel rotation responses: toward augmented lane departure warning systems

  • Tandonnet Christophe
  • Burle Boris
  • Vidal Franck
  • Hasbroucq Thierry

  • Practice
  • Categorization
  • Driving
  • Tactile reaction time
  • Stimulus-response compatibility


When an on-board system detects a drift of a vehicle to the left or to the right, in what way should the information be delivered to the driver? Car manufacturers have so far neglected relevant results from Experimental Psychology and Cognitive Neuroscience. Here we show that this situation possibly led to the sub-optimal design of a lane departure warning system (AFIL, PSA Peugeot Citroën) implemented in commercially available automobile vehicles. Twenty participants performed a two-choice reaction time task in which they were to respond by clockwise or counterclockwise wheel-rotations to tactile stimulations of their left or right wrist. They performed poorer when responding counterclockwise to the right vibration and clockwise to the left vibration (incompatible mapping) than when responding according to the reverse (compatible) mapping. This suggests that AFIL implements the worse (incompatible) mapping for the operators. This effect depended on initial practice with the interface. The present research illustrates how basic approaches in Cognitive Science may benefit to Human Factors Engineering and ultimately improve man-machine interfaces and show how initial learning can affect interference effects.