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Shuhang Wang, Mojtaba Moharrer, Vilte Baliutaviciute, Bradley E. Dougherty, Walter Cybis, Alex R. Bowers, Gang Luo; Bioptic Telescope Use in Naturalistic Driving by People with Visual Impairment. Trans. Vis. Sci. Tech. 2020;9(4):11. https://doi.org/10.1167/tvst.9.4.11.
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The purpose of this study was to investigate the telescope use behaviors in natural daily driving of people with reduced visual acuity licensed to drive with a bioptic (a small spectacle-mounted telescope).
A large dataset (477 hours) of naturalistic driving was collected from 19 bioptic drivers (visual acuity 20/60 to 20/160 without the telescope). To reduce the data volume, a multiloss 50-layer deep residual neural network (ResNet-50) was used to detect potential bioptic telescope use events. Then, a total of 120 hours of selected video clips were reviewed and annotated in detail.
The frequency of looking through their telescopes ranged from 4 to 308 times per hour (median: 27, interquartile range [IQR], 19–75), with each bioptic use lasting median 1.4 seconds (IQR, 1.2–1.8). Thus, participants spent only 1.6% (IQR, 0.7%–3.5%) driving time with their telescopes aiding their vision. Bioptic telescopes were used most often for checking the road ahead (84.8%), followed by looking at traffic lights (5.3%), and reading road signs (4.6%).
In daily driving, the bioptic drivers mostly (>98% of driving time) drove under low visual acuity conditions. The bioptic telescope was mainly used for observing road and traffic conditions in the distance for situational awareness. Only a small portion of usage was for road sign reading.
This study provides new insights into how the vision rehabilitation device—bioptic telescopes are used in daily driving. The findings may be helpful for designing bioptic driving training programs.
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