Exploring mental workload via TLX: the case of operating a car stereo whilst driving

Patrick W. Jordan, Graham I. Johnson

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Various effects of using a high-end car stereo set on driving were investigated in the field. The experiment looked at driving with and without car stereo use.
An instrumented car was used to carry out the investigations. Comparisons were made of primary driving variables (such as speed), measures of performance with the stereo on pre-defined tasks, and the NASA Task Load Index (TLX). The TLX is an established subjective measure of mental workload (MWL). A further aim of the study was to investigate the effectiveness of the TLX as an MWL evaluation tool in a dual task situation involving driving. Focus of regard (direction of gaze) data were also collected.
The main conclusions were that driving performance is significantly affected by stereo operation, and that the TLX was a useful evaluation tool in this context, providing much insight into subjective MWL changes in an everyday situation, that of driving a car and operating a stereo system.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationVision in vehlicles IV
EditorsA.G. Gale, I.D. Brown, C.M. Haslegrave, H.W. Kruysse, S.P. Taylor
Place of PublicationAmsterdam
PublisherNorth-Holland Publ Co
Number of pages8
ISBN (Electronic)9780080934334
ISBN (Print)0444893628, 9780444893628
Publication statusPublished - 28 Jan 1993
Externally publishedYes
EventFourth International Conference on Vision in Vehicles - University of Leiden, Leiden, Netherlands
Duration: 27 Aug 199129 Aug 1991
Conference number: 4th


ConferenceFourth International Conference on Vision in Vehicles
Abbreviated titleVIV 4


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