Evaluating variability in foot to pedal movements using functional principal components analysis

Yuqing Wu, Linda Ng Boyle, Daniel V. McGehee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


There are reasons why the driver's foot may not be applied to the correct pedal while driving and this can lead to unintended consequences. In this study, we seek to capture common and unique patterns of variations in drivers’ foot movements using functional principal components analysis (FPCA). This analysis technique was used to analyze three categories of pedal response types (direct hits, corrected trajectories, and pedal errors) based on the various foot to pedal trajectories. Data from a driving simulator study with video data of foot movements for 45 drivers was used for analyses. Most foot movements show common patterns associated with direct hits and corrected trajectories with some level of variation. However, those foot movements associated with unique patterns might be early indicators of pedal errors. The findings of this study can be used with collision mitigation systems to provide early detection of foot trajectories that are more likely to result in a pedal error.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)146-153
Number of pages8
JournalAccident Analysis and Prevention
StatePublished - Sep 2018


  • Foot trajectory
  • Functional data analysis
  • Pedal misapplication
  • Principal components analysis
  • Unintended acceleration

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality
  • Law
  • Human Factors and Ergonomics


Dive into the research topics of 'Evaluating variability in foot to pedal movements using functional principal components analysis'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this