Impact of Auditory Alert on Driving Behavior and Prefrontal Cortex Response in a Tunnel: An Actual Car Driving Study

  • Noriyuki OkaEmail author
  • Toshiyuki Sugimachi
  • Kouji Yamamoto
  • Hideki Yazawa
  • Hideki Takahashi
  • Jongseong Gwak
  • Yoshihiro Suda
Conference paper
Part of the Advances in Intelligent Systems and Computing book series (AISC, volume 953)


For traffic safety purposes, appropriate preparation time for emergent events is important. This study investigated the effect of an auditory (verbal) alert on a driver in a tunnel, specifically analyzing prefrontal cortical activation that related to attention and driving behavior. Eighteen healthy adults (35.2 ± 8.9 years old) participated by driving two times at about 60 km/h in the right lane of a two-lane road, once with an auditory alert of an oncoming construction event in the left lane, and once without the alert. The auditory alert increased prefrontal cortex activation and mitigated the sudden decrease in accelerator pedal opening related to the driver seeing the event. Our findings suggest that auditory alerts may promote smooth driving behavior and suggest they may be possible traffic safety measures.


Car driving Traffic safety measures Acceleration change Prefrontal cortex activation Functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Noriyuki Oka
    • 1
    Email author
  • Toshiyuki Sugimachi
    • 1
  • Kouji Yamamoto
    • 2
  • Hideki Yazawa
    • 3
  • Hideki Takahashi
    • 4
  • Jongseong Gwak
    • 5
  • Yoshihiro Suda
    • 5
  1. 1.Department of Mechanical EngineeringTokyo City UniversityTokyoJapan
  2. 2.Yokohama Maintenance/Customer Service Center, Tokyo BranchCentral Nippon Expressway Co., Ltd.TokyoJapan
  3. 3.Department of Corporate StrategyCentral Nippon Highway Engineering TOKYO Co., Ltd.TokyoJapan
  4. 4.Department of Corporate StrategyCentral Nippon Highway Engineering, NAGOYA Co., Ltd.NagoyaJapan
  5. 5.Institute of Industrial ScienceThe University of TokyoTokyoJapan

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