Effects of Visual Latency on Vehicle Driving Behavior

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Using mixed reality in vehicles provides a potential alternative to using driving simulators when studying driver-vehicle inter- action. However, virtual reality systems introduce latency in the visual system that may alter driving behavior, which, in turn, results in questionable validity. Previous studies have mainly focused on visual latency as a separate phenomenon. In this work, latency is studied from a task-dependent viewpoint to investigate how participants’ driving behavior changed with increased latency. In this study, the investigation was performed through experiments in which regular drivers were subjected to different levels of visual latency while performing a simple slalom driving task. The drivers’ performances were recorded and evaluated in both lateral and longitudinal directions along with self-assessment questionnaires regarding task performance and difficulty. All participants managed to complete the driving tasks successfully, even under high latency conditions, but were clearly affected by the increased visual latency. The results suggest that drivers compensate for longer latencies by steering more and increasing the safety margins but without reducing their speed.

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