Picture this, you’re driving in your car, when out of nowhere, a sudden road hazard appears. How do you react? Were you quick enough? And if so, were you able to avoid it safely? Being able to safely navigate the roads you drive, walk on or cycle is largely dependent on your ability to quickly spot any potential hazards in your peripheral vision, while equally staying focused on the road ahead.
In Optic Flow, you are required to make quick visual discriminations in the centre of your field of view while keeping alert to potential road hazards in your peripheral vision. The exercise simulates a variety of conditions, such as: fog, rain and nighttime driving to better reflect real-world every day navigation situations and driving.
In the Optic Flow exercise, you will see a sign with a target shape on it. Roadside objects and vehicles will approach at varying speeds and your mission is to select the one with the shape that matches the target. You may encounter potential hazards at any point along the way which include armadillos, birds, tires and more. When any of these enter the scene, you will need to click on the spacebar if the object is on a collision path with your vehicle. The action will become faster as the correct shapes are identified and hazards are avoided.
Moving through the exercise it challenges you more in the following ways:
- Shapes on vehicles become increasingly alike.
- Driving conditions change, making it increasingly harder to avoid hazards and identify target shapes. As with real-world driving, the speed driven must be reduced to successfully navigate the changing daylight and weather conditions.
- Type and number of hazards differ.
- Exercise adapts to your performance by reducing the time given to track down the target shape.
- Moving from the desert to the suburbs, and on to the city scene, the backgrounds become more of a distraction and complex.