The Impact of GPS Interface Design on Driving and Distraction

This study empirically examined the effects of keyboard type in a GPS system on driver distraction. Fifty-two undergraduate students were recruited to drive in a simulated environment while using either a QWERTY or ABCD keyboard embedded in a GPS interface. Driving errors, as well as bio-behavioral assessments, eye fixation durations, and EEG (Electroencephalography) theta frequency level were collected to determine the level of distraction and driving performance of participants. Significant differences in driving and distraction measures were found between driving with and without GPS data entry. Despite greater pre-existing participant skill in using two-handed QWERTY keyboards, no differences were found between the two keyboard types when used one-handed while driving. Implications for driver safety, in-vehicle systems design, and distraction research are discussed.

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