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  1. Default Hello~ Just a few questions about long distance driving!

    Hello respectable community of road-trippers!
    We are students involved in a project with GM at Carnegie Mellon University and we would like to ask all of you a few questions if it's not a bother. :)

    The project is to re-design the interior interface of vehicles to enhance the user experience/ interaction that goes on in between drivers and their vehicles. We are re-designing it so that it tailors better to long distance driving.

    So our questions are: (we tried to keep it as simple as possible)

    1. What are your tricks to stay awake while you are on the road?

    2. When is your attentiveness the lowest?/highest?

    3. What features would you love to see in your vehicle that would enhance/comfort your road trip experience?

    I know the questions are broad and abstract to some degree, but we did not want to limit you guys to anything. So please feel free to respond in any manner you would like, and any helpful responses are greatly appreciated.
    Thank you so much in advance!

    plus, if there is anything about these questions or our research processes that you guys think needs fixing, please tell us!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default the unknown

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    While I certainly find your goals interesting, I'm not sure what you'll be able to draw in terms of valid responses, because I think you really need to be designing to physiology not behavior.

    In fact, I find your first question to be a very poor start to things. There is no "trick" to staying awake and alert behind the wheel other than not pushing yourself beyond your physical limits. If you are at the point where you are trying to use tricks, drugs, or other devices to stay awake, you are already well beyond the point where you have become a danger to others on the road. This really has nothing to do with the design of the car at all.

    The second question is much the same, your alert level is going to be at its highest when you are freshest and most engaged (driving in heavy traffic or on a curving road, requires more alertness and energy than a quiet and straight road where you are all by yourself.)

    I'd say the single biggest thing to make a car comfortable for a long distance drive is a comfortable seat with good support. When it comes to driving a long distance, that's probably my single biggest factor in picking the best car - the car where my back won't be hurting after sitting in it for 2 hours.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Las Vegas, Nevada

    Default It's a bit counter-intuitive

    Quote Originally Posted by ajsong View Post
    We are re-designing it so that it tailors better to long distance driving.
    If the object of the redesign is keep drivers more attentive -- the trick would be to make the seats as uncomfortable as possible and still be safe. But no one is going to drive a car with the creature comforts of a 1960's Mack truck If the goal is increase driving times -- and I can't believe any response research program would support that notion -- than a bed-like device comes to mind.

    Actually, I was involved with a research project for off-road racing where the pedals were canted so that the most relaxing foot position was when the throttles were fully-depressed -- which prevented the cramping that one can get when the "pedal is to the metal"
    1. What are your tricks to stay awake while you are on the road?
    Number one most successful technique is practicing the fire art of the "Chicken Dance" at rest stops...
    2. When is your attentiveness the lowest?/highest?
    Between 7:00 am 8:30 am -- Doesn't matter when I start driving -- or how long I've been doing it -- 7:00 am to 7:45 am is "killer" for me.


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