Get ready for automated driving with Mixed Reality

Abstract : Driving automation is an ongoing process that is radically changing how people travel and spend time in their cars during journeys. Conditionally automated vehicles free human drivers from the monitoring and supervision of the system and driving environment, allowing them to perform secondary activities during automated driving, but requiring them to resume the driving task if necessary. For the drivers, understanding the system’s capabilities and limits, recognizing the system’s notifications, and interacting with the vehicle in the appropriate way is crucial to ensuring their own safety and that of other road users. Because of the variety of unfamiliar driving situations that the driver may encounter, traditional handover and training programs may not be sufficient to ensure an effective understanding of the interaction between the human driver and the vehicle during transitions of control. Thus, there is the need to let drivers experience these situations before their first ride. In this context, Mixed Reality provides potentially valuable learning and skill assessment tools which would allow drivers to familiarize themselves with the automated vehicle and interact with the novel equipment involved in a risk-free environment. If until a few years ago these platforms were destined to a niche audience, the democratization and the large-scale spread of immersive devices since then has made their adoption more accessible in terms of cost, ease of implementation, and setup. The objective of this thesis is to investigate the role of Mixed Reality in the acquisition of competences needed for a driver’s interaction with a conditionally automated vehicle. In particular, we explored the role of immersion along the Mixed Reality continuum by investigating different combinations of visualization and manipulation spaces and the correspondence between the virtual and the real world. For industrial constraints, we restricted the possible candidates to light systems that are portable, cost-effective and accessible; we thus analyzed the impact of the sensorimotor incoherences that these systems may cause on the execution of tasks in the virtual environment. Starting from these analyses, we designed a training program aimed at the acquisition of skills, rules and knowledge necessary to operate a conditionally automated vehicle. In addition, we proposed simulated road scenarios with increasing complexity to suggest what it feels like to be a driver at this level of automation in different driving situations. Experimental user studies were conducted in order to determine the impact of immersion on learning and the pertinence of the designed training program and, on a larger scale, to validate the effectiveness of the entire training platform with self-reported and objective measures. Furthermore, the transfer of skills from the training environment to the real situation was assessed with test drives using both high-end driving simulators and actual vehicles on public roads.
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Daniele Sportillo. Get ready for automated driving with Mixed Reality. Graphics [cs.GR]. PSL Research University, 2019. English. ⟨NNT : 2019PSLEM017⟩. ⟨tel-02297109⟩

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