Design of a Virtual Reality Driving Environment to Assess Performance of Teenagers with ASD
Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is an extremely common and costly neurodevelopmental disorder. While significant research has been devoted to addressing social communication skill deficits of people with ASD, relatively less attention has been paid to improving their deficits in daily activities such as driving. Only two empirical studies have investigated driving performance in individuals with ASD—both employing proprietary driving simulation software. We designed a novel Virtual Reality (VR) driving simulator so that we could integrate various sensory modules directly into our system as well as to define task-oriented protocols that would not be otherwise possible using commercial software. We conducted a small user study with a group of individuals with ASD and a group of typically developing community controls. We found that our system was capable of distinguishing behavioral patterns between both groups indicating that it is suitable for use in designing a protocol aimed at improving driving performance.
KeywordsVirtual Reality Autism intervention Adaptive task Physiological signals Eye gaze
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