Each Driving Assessment conference has been organized in the most beautiful locations. This year is no exception, with the venue taking place at amazing Squaw Creek Valley, CA. The scenery is simply gorgeous, as you can see in the picture below. This is probably the reason why this location was selected for the Winter Olympic Games of 1960.
One interesting fact about this place is that the snow remains on tops of the surrounding mountains until July (as you can see on the picture above), which makes it a very popular spot for skiing on July 4th!
The conference is very well organized, which indicates that the organizers invested an honest effort to ensure that everything goes smoothly. There are about 200 participants, which makes it a medium sized conference. Nevertheless, the presented work is of high quality and very diverse, covering various disciplines related to driving safety, performance and cognitive load assessment.
We also had a chance to hear two very interesting keynotes by professors Donald Redelmeier of the University of Toronto, Canada and Charles Spence of the Oxford University, UK.
Professor Redelmeier presented a study which showed that the number of road fatalities increases during US presidential elections. His main finding was that the risk of a fatal crash increases by 19% during the hours of pooling. This is really a remarkable finding, given that the risk is lower even on New Year’s Eve or Super Bowl Sunday, for example.
Professor Spence presented various studies in which he and his colleagues tried to find the best way of alerting distracted drivers to potential road dangers. Their general conclusion is that multisensory stimuli (combinations of visual, auditory and tactile) can capture driver’s attention in the simulator far more effectively than unisensory stimuli.
So far we had two busy days, full of presentations. The presentations included papers, posters and demos. Our Project54 lab was also well represented, with Oskar, who presented a paper, and I, who presented a poster. More details about these presentations will follow in the following posts. So, stay tuned!