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Title: Automotive emotions: a human-centred approach towards the measurement and understanding of drivers' emotions and their triggers
Authors: Weber, Marlene
Advisors: Giacomin, J
Malizia, A
Keywords: Human-centred design;Affective computing;Automotive design;Facial expression analysis;Human factors
Issue Date: 2018
Publisher: Brunel University London
Abstract: The automotive industry is facing significant technological and sociological shifts, calling for an improved understanding of driver and passenger behaviours, emotions and needs, and a transformation of the traditional automotive design process. This research takes a human-centred approach to automotive research, investigating the users’ emotional states during automobile driving, with the goal to develop a framework for automotive emotion research, thus enabling the integration of technological advances into the driving environment. A literature review of human emotion and emotion in an automotive context was conducted, followed by three driving studies investigating emotion through Facial-Expression Analysis (FEA): An exploratory study investigated whether emotion elicitation can be applied in driving simulators, and if FEA can detect the emotions triggered. The results allowed confidence in the applicability of emotion elicitation to a lab-based environment to trigger emotional responses, and FEA to detect those. An on-road driving study was conducted in a natural setting to investigate whether natures and frequencies of emotion events could be automatically measured. The possibility of assigning triggers to those was investigated. Overall, 730 emotion events were detected during a total driving time of 440 minutes, and event triggers were assigned to 92% of the emotion events. A similar second on-road study was conducted in a partially controlled setting on a planned road circuit. In 840 minutes, 1947 emotion events were measured, and triggers were successfully assigned to 94% of those. The differences in natures, frequencies and causes of emotions on different road types were investigated. Comparison of emotion events for different roads demonstrated substantial variances of natures, frequencies and triggers of emotions on different road types. The results showed that emotions play a significant role during automobile driving. The possibility of assigning triggers can be used to create a better understanding of causes of emotions in the automotive habitat. Both on-road studies were compared through statistical analysis to investigate influences of the different study settings. Certain conditions (e.g. driving setting, social interaction) showed significant influence on emotions during driving. This research establishes and validates a methodology for the study of emotions and their causes in the driving environment through which systems and factors causing positive and negative emotional effects can be identified. The methodology and results can be applied to design and research processes, allowing the identification of issues and opportunities in current automotive design to address challenges of future automotive design. Suggested future research includes the investigation of a wider variety of road types and situations, testing with different automobiles and the combination of multiple measurement techniques.
Description: This thesis was submitted for the award of Doctor of Philosophy and was awarded by Brunel University London
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