Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics (PhD)

Administrative Home Department

Department of Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics

Advisor 1

Kelly Steelman

Advisor 2

Craig Friedrich

Committee Member 1

Ye Sun

Committee Member 2

Gregory Hudas


With degraded visual environments being a current priority to the Army, several research programs have been initiated to develop a complete sensor-to-soldier systems to allow operators to see through DVE conditions while conducting ground vehicle tactical operations. To enable indirect-driving maneuverability and threat detection in degraded visual environments (DVEs), CCDC’s ground DVE program developed and tested a range of sensors and driver aid display systems. Six candidate driving aids were identified and tested in three simulator studies and two field tests to examine the effect of driving aids on driver workload and performance in different visibility conditions. The simulator-based testing revealed human factors issues such as the importance of the symbology of the aids used and how obstacles should be presented when designing individual displays. Soldiers were generally accepting of the overall gDVE system in field testing with no costs or benefits revealed using the driving aids. Before future development of the driving aids, a more human-centered design process must be pursued to optimize the human-system interaction to design driving aids that help performance and lower workload in degraded visual environments.