5th International Conference on Spoken Language Processing

Sydney, Australia
November 30 - December 4, 1998

The Use of Automatic Speech Recognition to Reduce the Interference Between Concurrent Tasks of Driving and Phoning

Robert Graham (1), Chris Carter (1), Brian Mellor (2)

(1) HUSAT Research Institute, Loughborough University, UK
(2) Speech Research Unit, The Defence Evaluation and Research Agency (DERA) Malvern, UK

Previous research has found that using manually-operated mobile phones while driving significantly increases the risk of a collision. It has been suggested that automatic speech recognition (ASR) interfaces may reduce the interference between the tasks of phoning and driving. A laboratory experiment was designed to examine this hypothesis, and also to investigate the optimal design for in-car ASR systems. Forty-eight participants dialled phone numbers from memory while carrying out a concurrent tracking task. Tracking performance was found to be adversely affected while using a manual phone. This effect was significantly reduced, although not eliminated, with a speech phone. Participants also perceived the mental workload of manual dialling while driving to be greater than speech dialling. A system of audio feedback was found to be marginally preferable to combined audio plus visual feedback. The recognition accuracy of the ASR device did not appear to have any significant bearing on driving performance nor acceptance. The results are encouraging for the use of speech interfaces in the car for phone and other functions.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Graham, Robert / Carter, Chris / Mellor, Brian (1998): "The use of automatic speech recognition to reduce the interference between concurrent tasks of driving and phoning", In ICSLP-1998, paper 0516.