Document Type


Publication Date





We examined individual differences in use and preference for tactile route guidance formats. Participants drove a simulated vehicle through counterbalanced pairings of four distinct cities using one of four navigation systems (three tactile and one auditory control). One tactile system used only pulse rate, the second system used only tactor location, and the third used both pulse rate and location to convey guidance instructions. All navigation systems provided both a preliminary and an immediate cue indicating to take the next most immediate turn. Individual differences in sense of direction resulted in different preference ratings without any observed performance differences. The pulse-rate route guidance system was the most commonly preferred system, especially for those with a poor sense of direction. All four systems resulted in equivalent wayfinding performance and support previous literature indicating that tactile guidance systems can effectively support navigation in unfamiliar environments, even for individuals with poor sense of direction.