Vehicle Ergonomics Analysis by Comparing Hand Reach Distances to Controls 2018-01-0500
Vehicle Ergonomics can be simply defined as the ease and comfort with which the driver and occupants inside the passenger cell can access and use the vehicle controls or features. Ergonomics takes into consideration the ease of operating the vehicle and the comfort levels offered in terms of positioning of the controls and seating comfort as well. The research aimed to find statistically whether the controls and features inside the passenger compartment are within the anthropometric hand reach distance. The research was done by standardizing the driving position using SAE H-point standard document J4004 to fabricate an H-point tool to place each of the test cars seat according to standard dimensions. Therefore, the distances from both shoulder points of driver were taken into consideration. Moreover, the anthropometric data for 95th percentile human hand reach was used to test whether vehicle control parameters and features inside the passenger cell fall within the normal hand reach or not. The statistical data for 15 vehicles on sale in Indian market was then analyzed based on vehicle classes like Hatchback, Sedan, SUV and Luxury cars. The major controls like steering wheel, gear lever and parking brake were inside normal ergonomic reach but controls of features like trip meter, AC controls, multimedia and volume controls were found to be in most cases outside the hand reach. Need arises for research and development to ergonomically place these controls to prevent discomfort and distractions while driving which can lead to driver concentration off the road.