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Technical Paper

Future In-Car Information Systems:Input from Focus Groups

Forty-five drivers of late model cars equipped with advanced driver-information systems (trip computers, phones, etc.) participated in 4 focus groups, 2 in Los Angeles and 2 near New York City. The purpose of the groups was to determine driver attitudes toward existing, high-technology, driver-information systems and what drivers might want in future cars. Drivers wanted systems that would give them (1) advance information about vehicle malfunctions (such as a warning about low oil, not just a failure light) and (2) navigation information. Drivers complained about current systems that divert their attention from driving, especially entertainment systems (“the buttons are too small”) and cellular phones (drivers weaving in traffic). There were reports of accidents and near accidents associated with use of in-vehicle systems and maps.
Technical Paper

Applications of Rapid Prototyping to Control and Display Design

To develop easy-to-use control panels, it is essential to measure driver performance, compare it with behavioral specifications, modify the design based on driver feedback, and then retest. Rapid prototypers help engineers do this quickly. This paper identifies the I/O capabilities, ease of use, ability to record user behavior, and real-time performance for several prototypers. Two example HyperCard prototypes are described here. The first, a car clock, shows how HyperCard can vary button size and location, labeling, auditory feedback, and the mapping of switches to system functions. The second, a car radio, shows that continuous controls and digitized sound can be handled.
Technical Paper

Driver Interface/HMI Standards to Minimize Driver Distraction/Overload

This paper describes (1) the telematics distraction/overload problem, (2) what distraction and overload are and how they differ, (3) the standards and guidelines that apply to the design and evaluation of driver interfaces/human-machine interfaces (HMI) for telematics (and their strengths and weaknesses), and (4) what standards and research are needed to support the development of driver interfaces. Most of the paper is a detailed discussion of evaluation standards, in particular SAE Recommended Practices J2364 (Task Time and Occlusion Tests) and J2365 (Task Time Estimation), ISO Standards 16673 (Occlusion Test) and 26022 (Lane-Change Test), and the AAM Driver Focus Guideline.
Technical Paper

Driver Status and Implications for Crash Safety

Almost a million people are killed worldwide each year in motor vehicle crashes, over 42,000 of them in the U.S. Human/driver error (or induced error) is the most commonly identified contributing cause according to crash studies, especially studies conducted in the U.S. Accordingly, if crashes are to be reduced, a human-centered approach is needed. As part of its Intelligent Transportation Systems program, the U.S. Department of Transportation (U.S. DOT) is funding several major projects (e.g., VII, IVBSS) concerned with active safety, warnings, and communications. As part of these and other projects, several meta-issues have arisen that deserve further attention.
Technical Paper

Driver Distraction, Telematics Design, and Workload Managers: Safety Issues and Solutions

Driving workload managers continually assess the difficulty of driving and regulate the flow of information to drivers that could interfere with driving, such as automatically diverting an incoming phone call to an answering machine when a driver is turning at an intersection. This paper summarizes the pertinent crash and human performance literature, identifies the unique nature of telematics tasks, and describes likely workload manager architectures, applicable regulations, and current industry efforts. In addition to promoting telematics system safety and enhancing warning systems, research on workload managers is likely to advance the science of driving and provide many other safety benefits.
Technical Paper

Development of Pictographic Symbols for Vehicle Controls and Displays

Two experiments were conducted to develop symbols for seven automobile controls and displays (heater, air conditioner, fresh air vent, radio volume, radio tuning, exterior lamp failure, and tire pressure) and answer several related questions. In the first, 43 drivers drew pictures they thought should be used as symbols for the items in question. Based on their suggestions the author designed several candidate symbols for each function. In the second, 62 drivers rated how well each candidate's intended meaning was understood. For many functions a “best” symbol was found, often one which differed from that currently used by the automobile manufacturers.
Technical Paper

Current ISO Automotive Symbols versus Alternatives - A Preference Study

Suggestions for pictographic symbols for identifying automotive controls and displays were obtained from 32 drivers. A total of 142 symbol candidates were developed from these suggestions for 25 functions. Subsequently, 104 people at a driver licensing office ranked these candidates and corresponding symbols in ISO Standard 2575 from best to worst. The criterion was how well the candidates represented the functions of interest. Based on those data the authors recommend replacing the ISO symbols for the lighter, fog lights, hood release, master lighting switch, and temperature and continuing to seek alternatives for the front defrost, hazard, headlamp cleaner, high beam headlamps, unleaded fuel, parking lights, rear defrost, windshield washer, and windshield washer/wiper.
Technical Paper

Driver Understanding of Fuel and Engine Gauges

Sixty-six drivers participated in a test of their knowledge and understanding of instrument panel displays. They were asked about specifications for their vehicles (e.g., engine temperatures), viewed numerous slides of instrument clusters and said what was wrong (e.g., low fuel) and what they would do (e.g., stop at the next gas station), and ranked displays from most to least understandable. The data showed that -- (1) Many drivers knew little about their vehicles. (2) For engine functions, drivers were more likely to understand moving pointer than numeric displays. Pointer alignment, color-coding, and labeling the normal zone all greatly improved understanding of engine displays. (3) Drivers understood all of the existing labeling schemes for analog fuel displays but had varying degrees of difficulty with digital fuel displays.
Technical Paper

Parking Crashes and Parking Assistance System Design: Evidence from Crash Databases, the Literature, and Insurance Agent Interviews

This paper (1) summarizes previous human factors/safety research on parking (8 studies, mostly over 20 years old), (2) provides statistics for 10,400 parking-related crashes in Michigan from 2000-2002, and (3) summarizes interviews with 6 insurance agents concerning parking crashes. These sources indicate: 1 About 1/2 to 3/4 of parking crashes involve backing, often into another moving vehicle while emerging from a parking stall. 2 Eight-and-a-half foot-wide stalls had higher crash rates than wider stalls. 3 Most parallel parking crashes occur on major streets, not minor streets. 4 Lighting and driver impairment were minor factors in parking crashes.
Technical Paper

Practical Aspects of Prototyping Instrument Clusters

This paper describes an ongoing effort to develop computer-simulated instrumentation for the UMTRI Driver Interface Research Simulator. The speedometer, tachometer, engine and fuel gauges, along with warning lights are back projected onto a screen in front of the driver. The image is generated by a Macintosh running LabVIEW. Simulated instrumentation (instead of a production cluster) was provided so that new display designs can be rapidly generated and tested. This paper addresses the requirements for prototyping software, the advantages and disadvantages of the packages available, and the UMTRI implementation of the software, and its incorporation into the driving simulator.
Technical Paper

What Functions and Features Should be in Driver Information Systems of the Year 2000

This paper describes new driver-information systems that are suggested for cars of the 21st century and proposes a method for selecting them. This method will help government officials, product planners, engineers, designers, and scientists identify functions and features that will be most beneficial to drivers. The systems (functions) of interest were navigation, vehicle monitoring, traffic information, road-hazard warning, communications, motorist services, in-car signing, office functions, and entertainment. Features and information elements of these systems were identified and rated on three dimensions: effect on accidents, impact on traffic operations, and driver needs and wants. Based on the ranking of features, information about slick roads, accidents, congestion, construction, blocked views, emergency vehicles, and tire and brake problems would be particularly beneficial.
Technical Paper

Crashes Induced By Driver Information Systems and What Can Be Done to Reduce Them

Future in-vehicle information systems may overload drivers, compromising driving safety and product usability. Suggestions of overload appear in (1) statistics from Japan, the United States, and Kuwait for mobile phone-related crashes, (2) statistics from Japan for navigation system-related crashes, and (3) human performance data. From most to least frequent, tasks associated with crashes were receiving a call, dialing, talking (on a phone), looking at a (navigation) display and operating an interface (for navigation). To optimize driver performance for future interfaces, developers should comply with design guidelines (JAMA, SAE J2364), work more closely with human factors experts, expand usability testing, and implement workload managers.