Integrating Ergonomics, Biomechanics, and Driving Behavior in a Virtual Environment: Developing a Transactional Framework

Open Access
Conference Proceedings
Authors: Praveen Maghelal

Abstract: The World Health Organization identifies road traffic injuries are a global health problem. The Global Status Report on Road Safety 2015 (2015) reported that Urgent action is needed to deal with this health epidemic. This is significant because, it is predicted that without addressing this issue head-on, traffic crashes are predicted to become the seventh leading cause of death by 2030. the Sustainable Development Agenda 2030 proposed to reduce the global deaths and injuries occurring from road traffic crashes to half by 2030 (WHO). It in acknowledged that major cause of traffic accidents is a human error related to bad driving behavior or fatigue and drowsiness. Hence, the human factor in transportation design should be a great concern to many transportation researchers (Sanjaya and Sya’bana, 2017). Although human factors have been analyzed through assessment of speed, driving behavior, reaction time, and overall cognitive assessment of environment, transportation research in general has neglected ergonomic study of humans in general (Sanjaya and Sya’bana, 2017) and in particular to understand road traffic crashes. Motion analysis is related to one branch of biomechanics called kinematics, which is the accurate measurement of human motion geometry (Knudson, 2007). Virtual Reality (VR) devices offer the natural solution for inexpensive and compact driving simulation, maintaining a high degree of the immersion feeling.Several studies have evaluated the physiological response to driving using a driving simulator, including measures such as HR variability (HRV), EDA, electromyography (EMG) of the anterior tibialis or trapezius muscle and electroencephalography (EEG). Several driving conditions contribute to differences in signals such as braking, mental workload or physical fatigue (Eudavea and Valencia, 2017). Vehicle operators must rapidly assess changes in vehicle stability and adjust body position in order to maintain vehicle control as they negotiate various road networks and types. Simulation can safely replicate changes in vehicle center of mass, and the operator’s biomechanical responses to these changes can be measured (Jennison et al 2017). However, studies related to human factors and driving have either analyzed the likelihood of traffic injuries (Petridou and Moustaki, 2001) or analyzed the physiological responses to driving behavior independently such as eye tracking (Kasneci, E., et al 2017), ECG and EMG (Eudavea and Valencia, 2017); and postural markers (Jennissen, et al 2017). A comprehensive framework to analyze the driving behavior in virtual simulator and assessing its impact on human physics remains a gap to the best of our knowledge.This research therefore investigates human impact and impact on humans of driving behavior using virtual reality. This study develops a theoretical framework to comprehensively assess the personal, situational and environmental factors that impacts driving behavior and its integration within virtual environment. It furthers this integration by developing a normative framework that uses biomedical and physiological approaches to investigate the impact of driving behavior on human body. Development of such a comprehensive framework will help further the knowledge and understanding of driving safety and human ergonomics and guide further research in this field.

Keywords: Physiological measures, virtual environment, human factors

DOI: 10.54941/ahfe1002606

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