Lab Research

CAR Tech Lab seeks to redefine technological interactions.

The CAR TECH lab's research program encompasses the development of measurement tools and computational methods to reduce risk, errors, and even fatalities associated with systems containing technological distractions. We bridge computational modeling with industry-facing applications to determine the impacts of incorporating technology into our everyday existence. Four areas of research currently being addressed are psychological measurement tools for in-vehicle interactions, computational modeling of decision-making applied to cognitive workload measurement, industry-facing human-centered interaction development and evaluation, and the neurological underpinnings of our interactions with natural environments and technology.

In-Vehicle Interactions

There is a visual, manual, and cognitive demand associated with completing common tasks like making a phone call, sending a text message, tuning the radio, or programming navigation systems in modern vehicles. An upcoming Chapter in the Handbook on Human Multitasking describes many of these findings for The Multitasking Motorist.

Modeling Cognitive Workload - Distraction and Performance

Cognitive workload allows designers, engineers, and researchers to understand the limits of human performance in goal-oriented endeavors. It also serves as an important metric to compare the performance of different systems beyond the observable output and user feedback.

Human-Centered Interaction Development and Evaluation

Designing technological interactions requires sound theoretical knowledge of human behavior coupled with methodological rigor in selecting metrics for testing and evaluation. For example, a recent study demonstrated how to evaluate the mental effort involved in performing tasks with graphical visualizations (link).

Natural Environment Interactions

Many people believe that natural environments provide physical, emotional, and even religious fulfillment. Recent studies mentioned in The Nature Fix examine the effects of time in Nature (with a capital "N"). For more on this research, click below.