Katja Kircher


Picture of Katja Kircher

Katja Kircher is a research leader within the area of road user attention. Her research focuses on how both drivers and cyclists distribute their attention in traffic, and whether and how they adapt when integrating additional tasks. Katja's research also concerns the development of methods to adress these questions.

Education:

  • MSc Psychology (1998, University of Regensburg, Germany)
  • Ph. D. in Human Factors (2002, University of Linköping, Sweden)
  • Associate Professor at the Institute for Behaviour and Learning (2015, University of Linköping, Sweden)

Research results from Katja


A Generalized Method to Extract Visual Time-Sharing Sequences From Naturalistic Driving...

Indicators based on visual time-sharing have been used to investigate drivers' visual behaviour during additional task execution. However, visual time-sharing analyses have been restricted to additional tasks with well-defined temporal start and end...

Changes in glance behaviour when using a visual eco-driving system: A field study

While in-vehicle eco-driving support systems have the potential to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and save fuel, they may also distract drivers, especially if the system makes use of a visual interface. The objective of this study is to investigate...

Cyklisters interaktion med extrautrustning, infrastrukturen och andra trafikanter: En...

How cyclists interact with the infrastructure, and how they integrate the handling of additional tasks, is dependent on the surrounding traffic situation and the cyclists’ characteristics. To study these relationships, a semi-controlled field study...

Evaluation of methods for the assessment of attention while driving

The ability to assess the current attentional state of the driver is important for many aspects of driving, not least in the field of partial automation for transfer of control between vehicle and driver. Knowledge about the driver's attentional...

Minimum Required Attention: A Human-Centered Approach to Driver Inattention

Objective: To propose a driver attention theory based on the notion of driving as a satisficing and partially self-paced task and, within this framework, present a definition for driver inattention.Background: Many definitions of driver inattention...

Reduced Attention Allocation during Short Periods of Partially Automated Driving: An...

Research on partially automated driving has revealed relevant problems with driving performance, particularly when drivers' intervention is required (e.g., take-over when automation fails). Mental fatigue has commonly been proposed to explain these...

Design and analysis of semi-controlled studies

Semi-controlled studies provide a hybrid approach in between controlled experiments and naturalistic driving studies. As in controlled experiments, the researcher can assign participants to groups, select the route and define the tasks, but the...

Evaluation of methods for the assessment of attention while driving

The ability to assess the current attentional state of the driver is important for many aspects of driving, not least in the field of automation. Knowledge about the driver’s attentional state is necessary for the assessment of the effects of...

Bicyclists‘ speed adaptation strategies when conducting self-paced vs. system-paced...

The increasing prevalence of mobile phone usage while cycling has raised concerns, even though the number of cyclists involved in accidents does not increase at a comparable rate. A reason for this may be how cyclists adapt travelling speed and task...

Bicyclists’ visual strategies when conducting self-paced vs. system-paced smartphone...

Visual distraction among cyclists interacting with their mobile phones is a growing concern. Yet, very little research has actually investigated how cyclists apply visual strategies and adapt task execution depending on the traffic situation. The...

Evaluation of methods for the assessment of minimum required attention

The empirical methods eye tracking while driving, visual occlusion while driving, think aloud while driving, expert judgement in the laboratory and think aloud while watching video are evaluated for their usefulness to assess driver attention in...

Interface design of eco-driving support systems: Truck drivers’ preferences and...

The aim of the study was to investigate the perceived usefulness of various types of in-vehicle feedback and advice on fuel efficient driving. Twenty-four professional truck drivers participated in a driving simulator study. Two eco-driving support...

The Development of a Method to Assess the Effects of Traffic Situation and Time Pressure...

Contemporary Driving Automation (DA) is quickly approaching a level where partial autonomy will be available, relying on transferring control back to the driver when the operational limits of DA is reached. To explore what type of information...

Can user-paced, menu-free spoken language interfaces improve dual task handling while...

The use of speech-based interaction over traditional means of interaction in secondary tasks may increase safety in demanding environments with high requirements on operator attention. Speech interfaces have suffered from issues similar to those of...

Continuous versus intermittent presentation of visual eco-driving advice

Automatic eco-driving advice has the potential to improve fuel economy and reduce emissions. However, providing eco-driving information to the driver will inevitably draw attention away from the driving task. The objective of this research is to...

Cyclists' use of mobile IT in Sweden: usage and self-reported behavioural compensation

The increasing use of mobile phones while cycling has raised safety concerns. In this paper two studies of mobile phone use by cyclists are presented.The first study was designed to characterize mobile phone use by cyclists in Sweden, while the...

Learning from experience: Familiarity with ACC and responding to a cut-in situation in...

Response times to risky events have been seen to increase with the use of adaptive cruise control (ACC). It has been unclear whether driver experience with ACC mediates this increase. We compare driving in a cut-in event in a simulator both with and...

Secondary Task Workload Test Bench – 2TB: final report

The main aim of this study was to investigate a selection of commonly used performance indicators (PIs) that have been reported to be sensitive to distraction and workload. More specifically, the PIs were tested for their ability to differentiate...

Tactical driving behaviour with different levels of automation

This paper investigated how different types of automation affect tactical driving behavior, depending on trust in the system. Previous research indicates that drivers wait for automation to act, delegating the monitoring of traffic situations. This...

A gaze-based driver distraction warning system and its effect on visual behaviour

Driver distraction is a contributing factor to many crashes; therefore, a real-time distraction warning system should have the potential to mitigate or circumvent many of these crashes. The objective of this paper is to investigate the usefulness of...

Dangerous use of mobile phones and other communication devices while driving: A toolbox...

The use of mobile phone and similar devices while driving has been a topic of discussion and research for several years. It is now an established fact that driving performance is deteriorated due to distraction but no clear conclusions can yet be...

Effects of electronic billboards on driver distraction.

OBJECTIVE: There is an increase in electronic advertising billboards along major roads, which may cause driver distraction due to the highly conspicuous design of the electronic billboards. Yet limited research on the impact of electronic billboards...

Vehicle-based studies of driving in the real world: The hard truth?

Real-world studies of driving behaviour and safety have face validity and have the distinct advantage of focussing on driving in its natural habitat. But their very naturalism can lead to problems with confounds and with noise in the data. This...

Why Sweden should not do as everybody else does

Sweden is the only country in Europe that does not outlaw handheld phone use while driving. This puts some political pressure on Sweden. The Swedish Government commissioned VTI to conduct a literature review on the effects of mobile communication on...

Can we trust driver behaviour assessment?: Examples from research in simulators and in...

It is very common to compare mean values of driving performance indicators (PI) like mean speed, the standard deviation of lateral position, time headway, mean glance duration, and many more, in order to investigate possible differences between...

Countermeasures against dangerous use of communication devices while driving –: a toolbox

This report outlines possible means to reduce the dangerous usage of mobile phones and other communication devices while driving. An important aspect of this commission was to demonstrate alternatives to legislation. The suggested countermeasures...

Measuring driver impairments: Sleepiness, distraction, and workload

Snow was falling heavily when Sarah was driving on a slippery road to her cousin’s country cottage. It was dark outside, and the visibility was poor. She had planned to arrive before sunset, but the rental service had made a mistake, and it took...

The impact of tunnel design and lighting on the performance of attentive and visually...

The crash risk in tunnels is lower than on the open road network, but the consequences of a crash are often severe. Proper tunnel design is one measure to reduce the likelihood of crashes, and the objective of this work is to investigate how driving...

Truck drivers' opinion on road safety in Tanzania: A questionnaire study

Even though the traffic fatality risk (fatalities per 100 000 inhabitants) in Tanzania is quite low, the fatality rate (fatalities per 10 000 vehicles) is one of the highest in the world. Since vehicle density will increase it is important to...

Åtgärder mot trafikfarlig användning av kommunikationsutrustning under körning: en...

This report outlines possible means to reduce the dangerous usage of mobile phones and other communication devices while driving, while at the same time preserve the positive effects. The suggested countermeasures cover several areas and are...

Camera-based sleepiness detection: final report of the project SleepEYE

Two literature reviews were conducted in order to identify indicators of driver sleepiness and distraction. Three sleepiness indicators – blink duration, blink frequency and Perclos – were implemented in the camera system.The aims of the study were...

Mobile telephones and other communication devices and their impact on traffic safety: a...

VTI was commissioned by the Swedish Government to compile relevant research on mobile phone and other communication device usage whilst driving. Thus, a sub-set of those activities that can distract a driver in traffic are treated in the...

Review of real-time visual driver distraction detection algorithms

Many incidents and crashes can be attributed to driver distraction, and it is essential to learn how to detectdistraction in order to develop efficient countermeasures. A number of distraction detection algorithms have been developed over the years,...

The influence of lighting, wall colour and inattention on traffic safety in tunnels: a...

Even though the crash risk in tunnels is rather lower than on the open road network, crash consequences can be very severe. Therefore it is of high importance to assure high safety standard in tunnels, which includes, but is not limited to, an...

Predicting visual distraction using driving performance data

Behavioral variables are often used as performance indicators (PIs) of visual or internal distraction induced by secondary tasks. The objective of this study is to investigate whether visual distraction can be predicted by driving performance PIs in...

Regulation knowledge presentation

The ASSET-Road project is focussing on improving road safety and road traffic by pushing different transportation stakeholders to interact between each other and integrating modern communication and sensing technologies. This deliverable is the...

Road safety in Tanzania: a questionnaire study

Even though the traffic fatality risk (fatalities per 100 000 inhabitants) in Tanzania is quite low, the fatality rate (fatalities per 10 000 vehicles) is one of the highest in the world. With increasing vehicle density this means that the number of...

Utveckling och prövning av ny skolskjutsskylt

In connection with boarding and alighting bus passengers are exposed to risks caused by other traffic. Children are especially vulnerable when traveling to and from school, and there are strong reasons for urging the vehicles passing a stationary...

Advantages and disadvantages of different methods to evaluate sleepiness warning systems

This is a methodological paper with the aim to discuss pros and cons related to different tools and environments when evaluating the effect of warnings given to sleepy drivers. There is no simple answer to the question which platform is most...

Comparison of two eye-gaze based real-time driver distraction detection algorithms in a...

Driver distraction is a field which has received increasing attention in the last years, especially after it became evident that distraction is a major factor contributing to road casualties. Monitoring, detecting and limiting driver distraction...

Considerations when calculating percent road centre from eye movement data in driver...

Percent road center (PRC) is a performance indicator which is sensitive to driver distraction. The original definition of PRC is based on fixation data extracted from eye movement recordings, but it has also been suggested that PRC can be determined...

Distraction and drowsiness - a field study: technical report

The main goal of the distraction and drowsiness field study was to evaluate a system for detecting driver distraction and drowsiness. This report focuses on the system implementation and the algorithms detecting distraction and drowsiness. A vehicle...

Effects of road surface appearance and low friction warning systems on driver behaviour...

Warning systems for slippery road conditions are a potential newcomer among driver support systems. A total of 75 participants drove in a high-fidelity driving simulator on roads with both visible and invisible ice, to investigate to which extent...

Issues related to the driver distraction detection algorithm AttenD

Driver distraction is a contributing factor to many crashes and a real-time distraction warning system has the potential to mitigate or circumvent many of these crashes. The objective of this paper is to thoroughly describe the distraction detection...

Methodological challenges and solutions in the EuroFOT project

The euroFOT project is undertaking Field Operational Tests to investigate the effects of eight safety functions. More than 1500 drivers of cars and trucks will participate with the focus being not only on the use of the systems under daily traffic...

The relationship between glance direction and eye tracking quality based on data from a...

It has been shown that distraction is a major factor contributing to road casualties. Detecting and limiting driver impairment could improve road safety. With the introduction of unobtrusive gaze-tracking systems gaze based real-time algorithms can...

Driver distraction: a review of the literature

Driver distraction has been defined in many different ways. The most important difference is whether only visual inattention or also cognitive inattention should be included. Many different methods have been used to assess the prevalence and types...

Low friction warnings: An assessment of three different approaches

A driving simulator study was conducted with the goal to find the human machine interface with the highest potential to increase traffic safety. Different aspects of how driving behaviour was influenced were investigated. Low friction warnings were...

Simulator Study

The main aim of the simulator study in INTRO WP 2.3 was to investigate how a low friction warning system in vehicles would influence traffic safety, and to identify the interface with the highest potential to increase traffic safety in low friction...

A comparison of headway and time to collision as safety indicators

The two safety indicators "headway" and "time to collision (TTC)" are discussed and compared with respect to their usefulness in determining the safety of different traffic situations, like different locations in a junction. Over a 6-day-period...

Traffic sense: which factors influence the ability to predict the development of traffic...

A study was conducted to evaluate the skill to predict the development of traffic situations. A stop-controlled intersection was filmed over several days, and 12 scenes with varying traffic complexity were selected. In half of the scenes, the...

What characterizes a free vehicle in an urban area?

The concept "free vehicle" is used widely in the transportation research literature, but as yet there is no common standard for a definition. In this article a standard is provided that is based on the assumption that a vehicle can be considered...

The Test of Visual Perceptual Skills (non-motor) Upper Level is Not a Valid Predictor for...

In order to reduce the monetary and personal costs of driver training for persons with cerebral palsy, it is of interest to find a predictor that is able to select potential license holders. Previous research has shown that such a predictor could be...

The Traffic Safety Problems in Urban Areas

As the number of people who reside and work in urban areas increases, so, too, do theneeds and demands placed on the infrastructure. This has led to severe congestion in manyEuropean cities, a situation which affects not only the environment in...