An Affordance-Based Approach to Visually Guided Overtaking

  • Morice Antoine H. P.
  • Diaz Gabriel
  • Fajen Brett
  • Numa Basilio
  • Montagne Gilles

  • OBJECT
  • BRAKING
  • JUDGMENTS
  • DRIVERS
  • PERCEIVING AFFORDANCES
  • PERCEPTION
  • CALIBRATION
  • INFORMATION
  • STRATEGIES

ART

When an automobile driver overtakes a lead vehicle while avoiding oncoming traffic, does he or she do so with reference to the limits of his or her car? We investigated overtaking from the perspective of the theory of affordances. We define the overtake-ability affordance as a ratio of the minimum satisfying velocity required for safe overtaking (MSV) to the maximum velocity of the driver's car (V-max). Two groups of participants performed overtaking maneuvers, if deemed possible, by driving either a slow (V-max=25m/s) or a fast (V-max=32.5m/s) virtual car in overtaking situations constrained by 14 values of MSV. For any given MSV condition, participants in the fast car group were more likely to attempt an overtaking maneuver. However, when MSV was expressed in intrinsic units as a ratio of V-max for both groups, the frequency of overtaking was not significantly different across groups. Furthermore, overtaking frequency dropped to near 0% for both groups when MSV exceeded V-max. In accordance with the affordance-based framework (Fajen, 2007), our results suggest that participants select their overtaking maneuvers by perceiving an overtake-ability affordance.