The interaction between driver and vehicle is analyzed in the paper. The driver acts on the steering wheel to modify the trajectory and to control the vehicle during panic situations. The knowledge of the forces exerted by the driver at the steering wheel is useful for a better understanding of the driver steering action. The final aim is to inspire the development of haptic steering wheels for better tuning of Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS).

An instrumented steering wheel has been used, which includes two six axis load cells to measure the forces and the moments exerted by the driver hands and six sensors used to measure the grip strength. Two maneuvers have been considered, a moderate speed turn and a kick plate test which simulates a panic situation with an impulsive lateral disturbance. For both of the two considered situations, some common driving behaviors have been highlighted and analyzed.

The preliminary results encourage the development of haptic instrumented steering wheels, able to improve ADAS. Actually it seems possible to infer the driver steering purpose before the steering wheel is actually rotated.

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