Uncovering the Pain Points in Driving

Uncovering the Pain Points in Driving Photo
Photo credit:
Ruth Rosenholtz, Fredo Durant, William Freeman, Aude Oliva, Antonio Torralba

When is driving most risky? When do drivers find driving difficult or stressful? Why are these situations more risky or difficult for the driver? Should the car momentarily take over whenever the driver is distracted? Drivers are often distracted: they adjust the radio, talk to passengers, think about their day, and look at the scenery. If a semi-autonomous car were to take over whenever the driver were distracted, this might effectively require a fully autonomous vehicle! And having the vehicle assist during every distraction might be quite unnecessary, as clearly we often perform a wide range of driving tasks even while distracted. What driving tasks are most at risk, from what distracted behaviors, and why?

In developing an automated vehicle system to augment and complement the human driver, it is critical to understand what driving tasks are hardest for humans and would benefit the most from automation. We will learn the “pain points” in driving through a mix of computer vision, machine learning, and understanding of human vision and attention.