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The last few years have seen growing interest in the design of tactile warning signals to direct driver attention to potentially dangerous road situations (e.g. an impending crash) so that they can initiate an avoidance maneuver in a timely manner. In this review, we highlight the potential uses of such warning signals for future collision warning systems and compare them with more traditional visual and auditory warnings. Basic tactile warning signals are capable of promoting driver alertness, which has been demonstrated to be beneficial for forward collision avoidance (when compared to a no warning baseline condition). However, beyond their basic alerting function, directional tactile warning signals are now increasingly being utilized to shift the attention of the driver toward locations of interest, and thus to further facilitate their speeded responses to potential collision events. Currently, many researchers are focusing their efforts on the development of meaningful (iconic) tactile warning signals. For instance, dynamic tactile warnings (varying in their intensity and/or location) can potentially be used to convey meaningful information to drivers. Finally, we highlight the future research that will be needed in order to explore how to present multiple directional warnings using dynamic tactile cues, thus forming an integrated collision avoidance system for future in-vehicle use.

Original publication




Journal article


Accid Anal Prev

Publication Date





333 - 346


Collision avoidance, Driving, Dynamic warning, Interface design, Spatial attention, Tactile warning, Accidents, Traffic, Attention, Automobile Driving, Cues, Humans, Physical Stimulation, Protective Devices, Reaction Time, Touch