Manual Radio Tuning Task on Android for Driver Distraction Studies

Source code is available in our GitHub repository: https://github.com/InstituteOfErgonomics/RadioTuning

A compiled Android app can be installed via the market: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=de.tum.mw.lfe.radio

The AAM guideline (official title: “Statement of Principles, Criteria and Verification Procedures on Driver Interactions with Advanced In-Vehicle Information and Communication Systems Including 2006 Updated Sections, Driver Focus-Telematics Working Group June 26, 2006″ http://www.autoalliance.org/index.cfm?objectid=D6819130-B985-11E1-9E4C000C296BA163 ) specifies on pp.46 a radio tuning task for driver distraction studies.

The specification states how this manual radio tuning task should be carried out. The documents also descibes the rational behind the task and all things related to the procedure (e.g. demographic of the test subjects, mounting position of the radio, etc).

In the guideline on p.46 the sentence “A radio with several push-buttons and a display can be used or simulated.[...]“and on p.47 the sentence “If a simulated radio is constructed, the following features should be incorporated: [...]” indicates, that the radio can be simulated.

The statement “If a real radio is used, it should provide reasonable approximation of these features.” on p.47 shows, that the authors were aware, that real radios can be somewhat different. Normally modifications are needed to apply the task to a specific radio. These modifications can affect driver distraction metrics and therefore counteract the basic idea of a reference. In nowadays a new problem appears: For modern radios it can be very difficult to get into the manual tuning mode and stay in this tuning mode, the procedure relies on. Many radios use automatic frequency scanning and detection of carrier frequencies. Thus, it is hard on modern radios or even impossible to carry out the intended manual radio tuning task.

Another nuisance is the time and effort you need, to apply a radio to your driving simulator setups (i.e., mounting, voltage supply, radio antenna, rf amplifier, speakers, fm transmitters, sound sources, etc).

We ported the manual radio tuning procedure with some modifications to Android, to faciliate thinks like teaching driver distraction courses (e.g., eye tracking, lane change test, etc.). At the moment, the data base is not sufficient to recommend the application in final laboratory test as a replacement for the AAM hardware radio tuning task.

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Here some technical aspects of the App are covered, for practical aspects and outcomes of an evaluation experiment please refer to [1].

The data are logged to a folder called ‘RadioTask’. Some phones have a problem with parallel handling file access from applications and connection as a mass storage. If you dont see the logged results on your PC directly after an experiment on the smartphone; a reconnect or reboot of the phone can solve the problem.

It is possible to controll the radio tuning task with an external keyboard (USB OTG or Bluetooth). The shift key controlls the switch between CD and Radio. With the space bar it it possible to toggle trough the radio bands. The arrow keys (left/right) allows to adjust the frequency.

If the wires from the keys are connected to a classical radio front plate you get a simulated radio.

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References

  • Krause M., Angerer. C, Bengler K.(2015). Evaluation of a Radio Tuning Task on Android while Driving. Applied Human Factors and Ergonomics (AHFE 2015)
  • Krause M., Donant. N, Bengler K.(2015). Comparing Occlusion Method by Display Blanking to Occlusion Goggles. Applied Human Factors and Ergonomics (AHFE 2015)

If you used the project in an experiment, we would be thankful for your feedback.

krause@tum.de

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