15th International Congress of Phonetic Sciences (ICPhS-15)

Barcelona, Spain
August 3-9, 2003


Speech Understanding While Driving: Sentence and Word Perception Using a Hand-Held Mobile Phone versus a Hands-Free Head Set

Jukka Selenius (1), Reijo Aulanko (1), Markus Vaalgamaa (2), Jukka Harjula (1), Heikki Summala (1)

(1) University of Helsinki, Finland
(2) Nokia Mobile Phones, Finland

Sixteen licensed drivers repeated short sentences and nonsense words which they heard either through a hand-held mobile phone or a hands-free head set while driving in normal city traffic in central Helsinki. The error rates showed that perceptual accuracy decreased by the use of telephone connection, compared with a 'simulated passenger speech' where the stimuli were presented from a loudspeaker in the car. Somewhat surprisingly, using the hands-free head set produced more errors than the hand-held mobile phone. This may in part be due to the dark sound colour of the head set used. The results also suggest that the cognitive load due to the traffic situation (e.g. difficult crossings) had a negative effect on the performance in the verbal task.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Selenius, Jukka / Aulanko, Reijo / Vaalgamaa, Markus / Harjula, Jukka / Summala, Heikki (2003): "Speech understanding while driving: sentence and word perception using a hand-held mobile phone versus a hands-free head set", In ICPhS-15, 865-868.