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Contact: Lee J. Siegel
University of Utah

Driving with Touch-based Navigation

Caption: Nate Medeiros-Ward, a University of Utah psychology doctoral student, operates a driving simulator with a steering wheel equipped with two touch devices that pull the skin on his index fingertips left or right (counterclockwise or clockwise) to tell him which way to turn. A new University of Utah study found that navigation information can be conveyed to a driver through the fingertips as accurately as through audio instructions from a navigation system. And when drivers are distracted by talking on a cell phone, the fingertip instructions are followed more accurately than audio instructions. The touch-based devices could help improve safety for motorists and hearing-impaired drivers, and also lead to navigational canes that provide navigation information to blind pedestrians.

Credit: Justin Lukas, University of Utah.

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Related news release: Let your fingers do the driving

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