A Field Study on Driversâ Thermal Comfort with Road Trials
This study demonstrates the effects of thermal comfort in real traffic conditions. An experimental system on road is designed to evaluate drivers’ thermal comfort. The aim of this study was to determine the thermal comfort values preferred as “thermo neutral” while they drive on the real traffic conditions. The measurements were performed with ten subjects during one hour driving period. Temperatures at eight points and skin wettedness at two points of human body were measured. In parallel, data were collected from a questionnaire consisting 10 questions. Only “thermo neutral” and “dry” values from data were considered. The study revealed that waist and back area were the most sensitive among the other measuring areas. Weighted average of skin temperature, which has been preferred as thermo neutral, changed between 32.95°C and 35.4°C. It was determined that skin wettedness of 26% on front and 38% on back was most preferred. Industries can use findings to evaluate their ergonomic seat comfort in vehicle and the results of this study can be applied to related industrial applications.
Key Words: Thermal comfort; driving comfort; road trials.