Training Software


The Arbella Insurance Human Performance Laboratory (HPL) has developed two interactive software programs
that it uses to help train people to become better, safer drivers.

FOCAL (FOcused Concentration and Attention Learning).  An attention maintenance program.

RAPT (Risk Awareness and Perception Training).  A hazard anticipation training program.

Related Publications



FOCAL:  FOcused Concentration and Attention Learning (FOCAL)
The lab’s FOCAL program was created to teach drivers how to reduce their glance durations to under two seconds while still performing secondary in-vehicle tasks accurately.  The HPL’s research has found that when drivers look away for more than two to three seconds in any five second period, that the risk of crashes increases considerably. 

The link for running FOCAL from the HPL web site is here

FOCAL can also be downloaded and run from a personal computer: 
Download zipped file containing FOCAL program and components  (138 MB)
Download and running procedures
:
1) Save the zipped file into a new directory on your computer
2) Unzip the file, and then launch the program by opening the pre-test.html file.
3) The program is designed to be run in one sitting, and will typically take 30-45 minutes.


RAPT:  Risk Awareness and Perception Training (RAPT)

The lab’s RAPT program trains younger, inexperienced drivers to anticipate potential hazards in different roadway scenarios and how they can adjust their driving style to become safer drivers.  Younger drivers, especially those below the age of eighteen, are at an increased risk of crashing.  The HPL’s research has found that this is primarily due to the fact that younger drivers lack sufficient experience behind the wheel to reliably recognize what a potentially hazardous situation looks like.  Younger drivers do not scan the road as effectively as older, experience drivers and do not adjust the way they are driving when approaching potentially dangerous situations. 

RAPT is designed to be run from a personal computer, and not from this web site.
There is also a version of RAPT available for handout use.   Access the handout version of RAPT (pdf) here.  This version can be saved and then printed out in Abode Acrobat. 

The current version of the training program is a single executable file called RAPT3.exe  (16 MB)

Download and running procedures:
1) Save the RAPT3.exe file to your computer.  Preferably, create a new folder and save the file in it.
2) Launch the program by clicking on it.  The program should take about 30-45 minutes to complete. 
3)The training is most effective if you complete the program in one sitting.  The program does allow you to exit part way through the training and then return to it and complete it later, though doing so may make the training less effective.
3) After completing the program, you will find that a file (with the extension .rpt) has been created in the same folder where the main executable file exists. If you would like to see your performance, please email the file to hpl@ecs.umass.edu along with some information about yourself such as name, age, sex, and how long you have had your driving license or learners' permit.

Information and Disclaimer
These training programs are the most current working copies of RAPT and FOCAL.  These programs and their effectiveness are currently being researched and they be modified in time depending on the results of these research studies.   At present, the programs have shown encouraging results in both simulator studies and field studies according to our metrics.  Our analyses focus on the eye glance behavior of drivers before and after training.

Related Publications

FOCAL
Thomas, F.D., Pollatsek, A., Pradhan, A., Divekar, G., Reagan, I., Fisher, D. and Blomberg, R. D.  (2010).  PC-based Attention Maintenance Training: Development and Evaluation of a PC-based Attention Maintenance Training Program (DTNH22-05-D-35043).  Washington, D.C.: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.  See report here.

Pradhan, A.K., Divekar, G, Masserang, K., Romoser, M., Zafian, T., Blomberg, R.D., Thomas, F.D., Reagan, I., Knodler, M., Pollatsek, A. and Fisher, D.L.  (Accepted).  The effects of focused attention training (FOCAL) on the duration of novice drivers’ glances inside the vehicle.  Ergonomics.

RAPT
Pradhan, A. K., Pollatsek, A., Knodler, M. and Fisher, D. L.  (2009).  Can younger drivers be trained to scan for information that will reduce their risk in roadway traffic scenarios that are hard to identify as hazardous?  Ergonomics, 62, 657-673.

Fisher, D. L., Pradhan, A. K., Pollatsek, A. and Knodler, M. A. Jr.  (2007). Empirical evaluation of hazard anticipation behaviors in the field and on a driving simulator using an eye tracker.  Transportation Research Record, 2018, 80-86.

Gary Vega, L., Fisher, D. L. and Pollatsek, A.  (2007).  Hazard Anticipation of Novice and experienced drivers: empirical evaluation on a driving simulator in daytime  and nighttime conditions.  Transportation Research Record, 2009, 1-7.

Pradhan, A. K., Fisher, D. L. and Pollatsek, A. (2006). Risk Perception Training for Novice Drivers: Evaluating Duration of Effects on a Driving Simulator. Transportation Research Record, 1969, 58-64.

Fisher, D. L., Pollatsek, A. and Pradhan, A.  (2006).  Can novice drivers be trained to scan for information that will reduce their likelihood of a crash?  Injury Prevention, Volume 12, Supplement 1, i25-i29.

Pollatsek, A., Narayanaan, V., Pradhan, A., and Fisher, D. L. (2006).  The Use of Eye Movements to Evaluate the Effect of PC-Based Risk Awareness Training on an Advanced Driving Simulator.  Human Factors, 48, 447-464.

Pradhan, A. K., Hammel, K. R., DeRamus, R., Pollatsek, A., Noyce, D. A. and Fisher, D. L. (2005).  The Use of Eye Movements to Evaluate the Effects of Driver Age on Risk Perception in an Advanced Driving Simulator.  Human Factors, 47, 840-852.