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Steering Wheel Control Usage Questionnaire

Study Title: Evaluation of steering wheel-based control usability using a motorsport simulator

Researcher: James WH Brown

This research is approved by the Ethics and Research Governance Online committee of the University of Southampton (ERGO No. 64004).

You are being invited to take part in the above research study. To help you decide whether you would like to take part or not, it is important that you understand why the research is being done and what it will involve. Please read the information below carefully and ask questions if anything is not clear or you would like more information before you decide to take part in this research.  You may like to discuss it with others but it is up to you to decide whether or not to take part. If you are happy to participate you will be asked to check a consent box to provide consent.

This research forms part of the work towards my PhD academic qualification.  I am a professional simulation engineer, formerly a software engineer and senior research assistant, examining how to improve driver interfaces in motorsport. 

Racing drivers are faced with a demanding set of tasks, and the addition of a complex steering wheel-based interface has been documented to have caused issues ranging from loss of performance to loss of control.  The research aims to increase driver safety and performance by making these interfaces easier to use.

This survey is designed to collect basic demographic data (age and gender), drivers' opinions on the importance and frequency of use of a set of controls, and data on how driver-facing steering wheel-based controls (excluding paddles) need to be improved.

You have been asked to complete this survey due to your previous experience in motor racing and exposure to steering wheel-based interfaces of differing complexity. 

Will my participation be confidential?

Your participation and the information we collect about you during the course of the research will be kept strictly confidential.  It is necessary to collect age and gender information as this ensures that the sample of participants is balanced.

Only members of the research team and responsible members of the University of Southampton may be given access to data about you for monitoring purposes and/or to carry out an audit of the study to ensure that the research is complying with applicable regulations. Individuals from regulatory authorities (people who check that we are carrying out the study correctly) may require access to your data. All of these people have a duty to keep your information, as a research participant, strictly confidential.

All form-based information will be securely stored under lock and key, or converted into electronic format and the originals securely shredded.  Electronic files including data logs, video and audio will be stored on password protected machines.  In the event that data has to be transported, files will be encrypted.  Data is pseudonymised, meaning that other than the consent form (completed only if you later take part in simulator-based experiments), your name and any identifiable information is not present on any forms or data logs.  Only the primary researcher (James Brown) and his supervisors have access to the data.

If consent is provided, you may be contacted to take part in future experiments or research.  Your contact details will be stored on a spreadsheet on a secure password protected PC.

Survey Completion

There is no obligation to start or complete this survey. If you decide you would like to complete it, you will need to electronically consent via a checkbox to show you have agreed to this.

What happens if I change my mind?

You have the right to change your mind and withdraw at any time without giving a reason and without your participant rights being affected.

If you withdraw from the survey, we will keep the information about you that we have already obtained for the purposes of achieving the objectives of the study only.  Please note that it is not possible to withdraw data restrospectively from this online survey.

What will happen to the results of the research?

Your personal details will remain strictly confidential. Research findings made available in any reports or publications will not include information that can directly identify you without your specific consent.

The research results will be pseudonymised and securely stored for processing, potentially for use in future projects if consent if provided.  Paper copies of data such as questionnaires will be stored separately from identifiable data to ensure anonymity.  Hard copies will be filed under lock and key, software-based data will be stored on password-secured laptops and/or hard-drives and these will only be accessible by the primary researcher associated with the research project.  Data is stored for a minimum of 10-years as per University of Southampton policy.

The results will be written up in journal paper format for publishing, as well as forming chapters in my thesis.  If you wish to receive a copy of the resultant papers / chapters, please let me know.  Your data and participation will not be divulged in any way unless you have provided explicit written permission.  The rationale for asking for this permission is due to the credence gained through the ability to quote or accurately paraphrase known racing drivers.

The data collected may be used in future studies by the main researcher as it provides a source for additional papers in similar research areas.  The data will be held by the researcher in pseudonymised format, with all electronic files stored on password protected PCs.

Where can I get more information?

If you would like more information, please feel free to email me at or my supervisor at

What happens if there is a problem?

If you have a concern about any aspect of this study, you should speak to the researchers who will do their best to answer your questions.

If you remain unhappy or have a complaint about any aspect of this study, please contact the University of Southampton Research Integrity and Governance Manager (023 8059 5058,

I can be contacted at

My supervisor can be contacted at

Data Protection Privacy Notice

The University of Southampton conducts research to the highest standards of research integrity. As a publicly-funded organisation, the University has to ensure that it is in the public interest when we use personally-identifiable information about people who have agreed to take part in research.  This means that when you agree to take part in a research study, we will use information about you in the ways needed, and for the purposes specified, to conduct and complete the research project. Under data protection law, ‘Personal data’ means any information that relates to and is capable of identifying a living individual. The University’s data protection policy governing the use of personal data by the University can be found on its website (

This Consent Statement tells you what data will be collected for this project and whether this includes any personal data. Please ask the lead researcher (James Brown) if you have any questions or are unclear what data is being collected about you.

Our privacy notice for research participants provides more information on how the University of Southampton collects and uses your personal data when you take part in one of our research projects and can be found at

Any personal data we collect in this study will be used only for the purposes of carrying out our research and will be handled according to the University’s policies in line with data protection law. If any personal data is used from which you can be identified directly, it will not be disclosed to anyone else without your consent unless the University of Southampton is required by law to disclose it.

Data protection law requires us to have a valid legal reason (‘lawful basis’) to process and use your Personal data. The lawful basis for processing personal information in this research study is for the performance of a task carried out in the public interest. Personal data collected for research will not be used for any other purpose.

For the purposes of data protection law, the University of Southampton is the ‘Data Controller’ for this study, which means that we are responsible for looking after your information and using it properly. The University of Southampton will keep identifiable information about you for 10 years after the study has finished after which time any link between you and your information will be removed.

To safeguard your rights, we will use the minimum personal data necessary to achieve our research study objectives. Your data protection rights – such as to access, change, or transfer such information - may be limited, however, in order for the research output to be reliable and accurate. The University will not do anything with your personal data that you would not reasonably expect.

If you have any questions about how your personal data is used, or wish to exercise any of your rights, please consult the University’s data protection webpage ( where you can make a request using our online form. If you need further assistance, please contact the University’s Data Protection Officer (

Thank you.

Thank you for taking the time to read this statement and considering taking part in the research.  It is a valuable part of my thesis and I hope that our collective findings will improve both the safety and performance of vehicles in motorsport.