Modelling implicit pre-cues and collision avoidance in a driving simulator

A pilot study


  • Ignatius McBride University of Technology Sydney
  • Job Fransen University of Technology Sydney
  • Stephen Woodcock University of Technology Sydney
  • Gustavo de Andrade São Paulo State University
  • Andrew Novak University of Technology Sydney
  • José Angelo Barela São Paulo State University
  • Sérgio Tosi Rodrigues São Paulo State University



Pilot Study, Driving simulation, Motor skills, Reaction times, Pre-cue, Sample size, Logisitic regression


It is well-established that pre-cues, including those observed in an implicit manner, can affect motor skills and reaction times. However, little research currently exists on how pre-cues influence complex motor skills such as driving a car at high speed. This pilot study investigates the effect of implicit pre-cues on collision avoidance under a repeat trial experiment design using a car driving simulator. Seventeen par- ticipants (aged 23.8 ± 4.2 years) were included in this investigation, which consisted of four different one-kilometre driving scenarios. This investigation considers two of the four scenarios. Two scenarios had the stimulus of a child crossing the road, however only one of these scenarios had an implicit pre-cue appear before the stimulus. The remaining two scenarios had no stimulus or pre-cue and were included to reduce any learning effect by participants. The proportion of participants who had a collision differed significantly between scenarios with and without a pre-cue. The primary effect size of the pre-cue is modelled using a logis- tic regression and distributions for point estimators are obtained from bootstrapping results. A power analysis exploring different primary effect sizes is performed to inform sample size considerations for repeat studies. Implications for motor control, such as experiment design and statistical modelling methods, are discussed to inform future large scale trials.


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