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LU doctoral student wins prestigious research award

Yi Liu, a doctoral student in industrial engineering, has been awarded the Council of Technical Groups Travel Award from the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society. The award is given to a small number of graduate students on the basis of their research and pays for students to attend and present at the HFES annual Yi Driving Labconference, which will be held October 5-9 this year.

Liu’s paper, “A Preliminary Investigation of Driver Vigilance in Automated Vehicles in Real Traffic Environments” represents his research into the topic with LU associate professor of industrial engineering, Yueqing Li. In order to conduct his research, Li designed a driving simulation program that tests subjects’ vigilance when driving a model automated car through various realistic scenarios.

“Driver behavior in automated vehicles is a very popular topic right now,” explained Liu. “Some of the research to date has shown that the vigilance of drivers is not greatly affected, but I felt the experiments were not very good as the driving simulation was not very realistic. When we added things like buildings, trees, construction zones and traffic sounds, we did start to see that drivers become less vigilant and behaviors change.”

Liu’s study is part of ongoing research into the effects of automated cars on driver behavior conducted in the LU Industrial Engineering Driving Simulation Lab.