Study and Evaluation of New HMI Switch Control Concepts through Demo Vehicle and Module Development 2006-01-0815
A new human machine interface (HMI) switch control concept was proposed and evaluated with a driver simulator-based simulation analysis as described in the study of Kiyotaka Sasanouchi . This new concept provides an integrated interface for the vehicle driver to operate on-board devices such as audio, multimedia, HVAC, and navigation systems. To further study and evaluate the benefits of the new concept and more importantly the detailed design factors, a prototype system has been developed and then installed in a production vehicle. The experience learned through this development project is presented in this paper. Some key design issues are addressed, including the multi-functional switch design, menu tree optimization, visual feedback display presentation, and vehicle system interface. Results from an internal customer test ride and survey are also presented to demonstrate the performance and benefits of the new HMI concept design. To further improve functionality of the HMI switch control, a touch pad switch with finger writing input and character recognition capability has also been developed. This newly added feature provides a convenient way for the user to perform fast text-based program search, which can be very useful for future car radio or multi-media systems with internal/external hard disk drives. Results from a driver simulator study showed that significant improvement in terms of driver distraction and workload reduction could be achieved with the HMI switch control incorporating the proposed new switch input feature.