Toward Real-Time Estimation of Driver Situation Awareness: An Eye-tracking Approach based on Moving Objects of Interest
IEEE Intelligent Vehicles Symposium (IV) 2020 pp. 1978-1983
Eye-tracking techniques have the potential for estimating driver awareness of road hazards. However, traditional eye-movement measures based on static areas of interest may not capture the unique characteristics of driver eyeglance behavior and challenge the real-time application of the technology on the road. This article proposes a novel method to operationalize driver eye-movement data analysis based on moving objects of interest. A human-subject experiment conducted in a driving simulator demonstrated the potential of the proposed method. Correlation and regression analyses between indirect (i.e., eye-tracking) and direct measures of driver awareness identified some promising variables that feature both spatial and temporal aspects of driver eye-glance behavior relative to objects of interest. Results also suggest that eye-glance behavior might be a promising but insufficient predictor of driver awareness. This work is a preliminary step toward real-time, on-road estimation of driver awareness of road hazards. The proposed method could be further combined with computer-vision techniques such as object recognition to fully automate eye-movement data processing as well as machine learning approaches to improve the accuracy of driver awareness estimation.