Control of visually guided braking using constant- τ and proportional rate
Beer, Randall D.
Bingham, Geoffrey P.
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This study investigated the optical information and control strategies used in visually guided braking. In such tasks, drivers exhibit two different braking behaviors: impulsive braking and continuously regulated braking. We designed two experiments involving a simulated braking task to investigate these two behaviors. Participants viewed computer displays simulating an approach along a linear path over a textured ground surface toward a set of road signs. The task was to use a joystick as a brake to stop as close as possible to the road signs. Our results showed that participants relied on a weak constant-τ strategy (Bingham 1995) when regulating the brake impulsively. They used discrete τ values as critical values and they regulated the brake so as not to let τ fall below these values. Our results also showed that proportional rate control (Anderson and Bingham 2010, 2011) is used in continuously regulated braking. Participants initiated braking at a certain proportional rate value and controlled braking so as to maintain that value constant during the approach. Proportional rate control is robust because the value can fluctuate within a range to yield good performance. We argue that proportional rate control unifies the information-based approach and affordance-based approach to visually guided braking.