Analyzing Situation Awareness During Wayfinding in a Driving Simulator
Jack M. Beusmans, Vlada Aginsky, Catherine L. Harris, and Ronald A. Rensink, Cambridge Basic Research, Nissan Research & Development, Inc., Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA.

Proceedings of the International Conference on Experimental Analysis and Measurement of Situation Awareness. Nov 1-3, 1995, Daytona Beach, FL. pp. 245-251. 1995.   [pdf]


Learning a route through an unfamiliar area requires an ongoing awareness of one's position in the world. We investigated how subjects established this "situation awareness" in a driving simulator. After learning a route, subjects' visual and spatial abilities were tested by having them follow the route in a world with altered landmarks. We found that subjects used one of two different ways to orient themselves. One group of subjects relied almost exclusively on visual scene recognition, being aware of their position only at decision points along the route. The other group, in contrast, used a more spatial representation of their environment, being aware of their position between decision points as well.

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