Vehicles have become very rich environments for studying human-computer interactions (HCI). The main drivers of this trend are technological advancements, which resulted in an exponential increase in the number of electronic devices that are being introduced in vehicles every day. Even though many of these in-vehicle devices are intended to improve drivers' on-road experiences, it is often unclear how those devices influence driving performance and visual attention to the road. The majority of my research has been focused on evaluating these influences using both quantitative (different data collected from a driving simulator, eye-tracker and physiology monitor) and qualitative (surveys, interviews, standardized questionnaires) methods, with the ultimate goal of improving driving safety and in-vehicle HCI.
The research has been conducted on the UNH's high-fidelity driving simulator. The simulator has a real car cabin, a one-degree of freedom motion platform which simulates acceleration and braking, and a 180 degrees field-of-view screen which creates a very immersive driving experience. Here is a link to a video, which demonstrates the simulator's capabilities and a few research projects conducted on it.
Another important piece of equipment is an eye-tracker, which allows tracking driver's gaze and thus estimating the amount of visual attention that a driver pays to the road compared to any other in-vehicle device of interest.