VoGe: A Voice and Gesture System for Interacting with Autonomous Cars 2017-01-0068
In the next 20 years fully autonomous vehicles are expected to be in the market. The advance on their development is creating paradigm shifts on different automotive related research areas. Vehicle interiors design and human vehicle interaction are evolving to enable interaction flexibility inside the cars. However, most of today’s vehicle manufacturers’ autonomous car concepts maintain the steering wheel as a control element. While this approach allows the driver to take over the vehicle route if needed, it causes a constraint in the previously mentioned interaction flexibility. Other approaches, such as the one proposed by Google, enable interaction flexibility by removing the steering wheel and accelerator and brake pedals. However, this prevents the users to take control over the vehicle route if needed, not allowing them to make on-route spontaneous decisions, such as stopping at a specific point of interest.
This article presents VoGe, a human vehicle interaction system based on voice and pointing gestures that enables the user making spontaneous decisions over the route and communicate them to the car, while maintaining the interaction flexibility. We describe the system’s design and its main functions. In addition, a first proof of concept based on a robotic platform and a driving simulator is presented. This showcased the main functions of VoGe related to commanding an autonomous vehicle by using voice and pointing gestures. Furthermore, it helped to identify the main challenges that our team’s ongoing research will focus on; such as point of interest identification on cluttered environments, feasibility analysis of the user command, the generation of the proper feedback to the user to solve potential ambiguous situations, and user experience and usability analysis of our system.