Although drivers gain experience with age, many older drivers are faced with age-related deteriorations that can lead to a higher crash risk. Head-Up Displays (HUDs) have been linked to significant improvements in driving performance for older drivers by tackling issues related to aging. For this study, two Augmented Reality (AR) HUD virtual car navigation solutions were tested (one screen-fixed, one world-fixed), aiming to improve navigation performance and reduce the discrepancy between younger and older drivers by aiding the appropriate allocation of attention and easing interpretation of navigational information. Twenty-five participants (12 younger, 13 older) undertook a series of drives within a medium-fidelity simulator with three different navigational conditions (virtual car HUD, static HUD arrow graphic, and traditional head-down satnav). Results showed that older drivers tended to achieve navigational success rates similar to the younger group, but experienced higher objective mental workload. Solely for the static HUD arrow graphic, differences in most workload questionnaire items and objective workload between younger and older participants were not significant. The virtual car led to improved navigation performance of all drivers, compared to the other systems. Hence, both AR HUD systems show potential for older drivers, which needs to be further investigated in a real-world driving context.

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