Archive for category in-vehicle

Perceptions of electronic navigation displays

Lavie, T. and Oron-Gilad, T., Perception of navigation displays, Behaviour & Information Technology, (in press) accepted November 2011.

Abstract

This study evaluated aesthetics and usability of in-vehicle electronic navigation maps. Experiment 1 examined map displays that varied in the amount of information presented, abstraction level, graphic/color style, and the existence of landmarks in both urban and rural environments using objective and subjective measures. Twenty participants performed navigation/localization tasks using various map configurations while driving a driving simulator and completed usability and aesthetic questionnaires (using the Perceived aesthetics and usability questionnaire items for maps). The minimal detail map produced better performances and higher usability and aesthetic ratings when using maps with no landmarks. Adding information in the form of landmarks was found advantageous compared to additional textual information. Abstractions were most advantageous when combined with minimal amount of detail. Moderate abstractions were sufficient for obtaining the desired benefits when more details were present. The graphic/color style affected subjective perceptions. Overall, high correlations were found for the perceived aesthetics and usability scales, however, low correlations were found between actual usability (i.e., performance) and perceived usability pointing to the importance of using both objective and subjective usability measures. Experiment 2 examined how maps varying in their aesthetic level (aesthetic versus non-aesthetic), different color arrangements, and 2D versus 3D landmarks affect subjective and objective measures. Participants distinguished between usability and aesthetic perceptions and usability perceptions were less affected by aesthetics when the aesthetic level of the maps was low. Color arrangement did not affect the measures examined. Both 2D and 3D landmarks were found to be aesthetic and usable. We conclude this paper with guidelines for designing in-vehicle navigation map displays.

Here are some map images:

Examples of maps with more (right maps) and less (left maps) information for the rural (upper row) and urban (bottom row) settings

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Rural maps showing examples of the three graphic styles used in Experiment 1 (a-c) and an example of the additional non-aesthetic color palette used in Experiment 2

(a) Contemporary Blueimage (b) Traditional Grayimage (c) Realistic Green

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(d) Non-aesthetic color combination

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Examples of landmarks in an urban map

No landmarks

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Few landmarks – close to the route

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Many landmarks

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Perceptions of electronic navigation displays

Electronic navigation maps

  • support drivers when travelling within unfamiliar areas
  • need to support several tasks; visual search, location assessment, and complex integrative route planning
  • are used while driving, when drivers should not take more than quick glances at them, it is essential that they do not impair driving safety.
  • will become a necessity in future vehicle configurations, i.e., as vehicles become more semi-autonomous and drivers changre from active operators of the vehicle to passive monitors

The study

  • examined different display formats to better support usability and aesthetic requirements.
  • aimed to validate the results found by Lavie, Oron-Gilad and Meyer (2010).
  • further examine additional design attributes – focusing on:
    • graphic style
    • landmarks and how landmarks affect aesthetic perceptions
    • rural and urban road maps

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Figure 1. Examples of maps in a ‘Traditional elegant monochromatic’ graphic style, with more (right maps) and less (left maps) information for the rural (upper row) and urban (bottom row) settings.

Experiment 2 further examined maps with non-aesthetic graphic styles to see how that affects usability perception and actual use.

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Figure 1. Examples of maps. Right: a ‘Realistic green’ graphic style, Left: an illustration of an ‘arbitrary’ color arrangement, i.e., the color coded areas do not correspond with the driver’s route.

To read more, look for:

Talia Lavie and Tal Oron-Gilad, Perception of navigation displays, to appear in Behaviour & Information Technology

Abstract

This study evaluated aesthetics and usability of in-vehicle electronic navigation maps. Experiment 1 examined map displays that varied in the amount of information presented, abstraction level, graphic/color style, and the existence of landmarks in both urban and rural environments using objective and subjective measures. Twenty participants performed navigation/localization tasks using avrious map configurations while driving a driving simulator and completed usability and aesthetic questionnaires. The minimal detail map produced better performances and higher usability and aesthetic ratings when using maps with no landmarks. Adding information in the form of landmarks was found advantageous compared to additional textual information. Abstractions were most advantageous when combined with minimal amount of detail. Moderate abstractions were sufficient for obtaining the desired benefits when more details were present. The graphic/color style affected subjective perceptions. Overall, high correlations were found for the perceived aesthetics and usability scales, however, low correlations were found between actual usability (i.e., performance) and perceived usability pointing to the importance of using both objective and subjective usability measures. Experiment 2 examined how maps varying in their aesthetic level (aesthetic versus non-aesthetic), different color arrangements, and 2D versus 3D landmarks affect subjective and objective measures. Participants distinguished between usability and aesthetic perceptions and usability perceptions were less affected by aesthetics when the aesthetic level of the maps was low. Color arrangement did not affect the measures examined. Both 2D and 3D landmarks were found to be aesthetic and usable. We conclude this paper with guidelines for designing in-vehicle navigation map displays.

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Inexperienced drivers training program – Trailer

Driving is a demanding task combining complex motor and cognitive skills. A typical driving task may include maneuvering among other vehicles, paying attention to various road users (e.g., drivers and pedestrians), and discerning static and dynamic road signs and obstacles). The total amount and rate of information presented to the driver is  more than a human brain can handle at a given time. Thus, the road presents a vast array of accessible information, but drivers notice and attend only to a small fraction of it.

Recent evidence suggests that among all driving skills, only hazard awareness – the ability of drivers to read the road and identify hazardous situations –correlates with traffic crashes (e.g., Horswill and McKenna, 2004). Furthermore, McKenna et al. (2006) have shown that improving hazard awareness skills (via training to identify hazardous situations) resulted in a decrease in risk taking attitudes for novice drivers. These findings and others (e.g., Pradhan et al., 2009; Borowsky et al., 2010; Pollatsek et al., 2006; Deery, 1999) acknowledge that young-novice drivers might be less aware of potential hazards and risks embedded in a situation, and thus are more susceptible to taking risks while driving because of this lack of awareness.

References

Borowsky, A., Shinar, D., & Oron-Gilad, T. (2010). Age and skill differences in driving related hazard perception, Accident Analysis and Prevention, vol. 42, pp. 1240-1249.

Deery, H.A. (1999). Hazard and risk perception among young novice drivers. Journal of Safety Research, 30(4), 225-236.

Horswill, M. S., & McKenna, F. P. (2004). Drivers’ hazard perception ability: Situation awareness on the road. In S. Banbury and S. Tremblay (Eds.), A cognitive approach to situation awareness: Theory and application (pp. 155-175). Aldershot, United Kingdom: Ashgate.

McKenna, F. P., Horswill, M. S., & Alexander, J. L. (2006). Does anticipation training affect drivers’ risk taking? Journal of Experimental Psychology, 12, 1-10.

Pollatsek, A., Narayanaan, V., Pradhan, A., & Fisher, D. L. (2006). Using eye movements to evaluate a PC-based risk awareness and perception training program on a driving simulator. Human Factors, 48, 447–464.

 Pradhan, A. K., Pollatsek, A., Knodler, M., & Fisher, D. L. (2009). Can younger drivers be trained to scan for information that will reduce their risk in roadway traffic scenarios that are hard to identify as hazardous? Ergonomics, 52, 657-673.

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The Effect of In-Vehicle Warning Systems on Speed Compliance in Work Zones

This study investigated the effectiveness of in-vehicle information on drivers’ compliance to speed limits in work zones. It was conducted while I was still at UCF with my students  (now colleagues) James Whitmire the 2nd and Justin F. Morgan, and  my dear friend and mentor P.A. Hancock.

Why work zones?

Highway work zones are hazardous roadway environments.

  • Significantly more dangerous than comparable pre-work zone roadways in the same areas (Khattak, Khattak & Council, 2002).
  • Crash rates increase by ~ two-fold on highway segments under construction compared to the same highway segments measured previously without the presence of work zones.
  • The majority of people killed in work zones are drivers and vehicle occupants (~85%).
  • Speed has a main contributory role in work zone crashes (Stackhouse & Tan, 1998). This overt behavior is also recognized by the drivers themselves.

IVIS (in-vehicle information systems)

  • In-vehicle systems could be used to convey operational information for the driver especially in difficult and demanding conditions (Vashitz, Shinar, & Blum, 2008).
  • Research efforts have provided evidence that in-vehicle information technologies can positively affect driver compliance and improve safety, particularly with regard to driving speed (Brookhuis & de Waard, 1999).
  • Long term effects of a first generation intelligent speed adaptation device found an initial decrease in the time spent over the speed limit. Yet, compliance rate attenuated with time (Warner and Åberg, 2008).
  • Most contemporary in-vehicle displays do not place excessive visual demand on the driver in normal driving circumstances.
  • Work has been accomplished pertaining to the in-vehicle presentation of audio and/or visual stimuli. Very little has been done to examine the delivery of in-vehicle audio and visual warning systems specifically to enhance safety in work zones.

What did we test?

  1. Whether in-vehicle information devices can influence driver speed compliance behavior in work zones
  2. Modality effects, i.e., auditory messages may be more effective for the initial phase of entering the work zone but more intrusive later on within the work zone

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Fig. 1 – The experimental setup in the visual condition (visual warning were presented to the right of the driver)

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Fig. 2. Images of the visual in-vehicle warning messages. In-vehicle messages corresponded to traffic signs posted in the work zone area.

What did we find?

Participants spent an average of 44%, 7% and 18% of the time, for the control, audio and visual condition, respectively in violation of posted speed limit. The average violation duration for the control group was significantly greater than that for either the audio or visual groups (Fig. 3). Average violation speed was 55 (9), 50 (5) and 47 (17) Km/h for the control, audio and visual groups, respectively (posted speed limit was 45 Km/h).

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Fig. 3.  Average duration of speed violations, by group. Error bars show standard error. Fig. 4.Entrance to the work zone. Notice the stimulus-response differences once entering the workzone

Drivers with visual\auditory warnings most frequently violated the safe speed upon entering the work zone. However, once they were alerted to this state they typically did not have additional speed violations. Control drivers did not display such a pattern. Differences between auditory and visual conditions were present in the time to compliance ; while drivers in the audio condition took 6 seconds to respond, their counterparts in the visual condition took 22 seconds to respond (Fig. 4).

  • The final outcome of both modalities was the same. The longer time to compliance for the visual channel system suggests both the dominance of the auditory channel for this type of information, as well as, the importance of timely alerts through IVISs.
  • As one would predict, based on multiple resource theory (Wickens, 2002), the findings of this study suggest the necessity of redundant signal modalities in driver-messaging systems. Specifically, in order to achieve the best compliance with messages presented to the driver, those messages need to consist of a specific temporal sequence of modalities. The ideal driver message should begin with a brief auditory and visual messages (of a duration no greater than 6.0 seconds), followed by a visual warning message only which remains visible until compliance or acknowledgment.
  • In closing, further research is called for in the specific auditory and visual characteristics of such messages. The density of auditory and visual information, as well as the formatting of text-based messages on in-vehicle displays, remains a largely unknown contributor to the speed and accuracy of a busy driver’s interpretation of the information.

To read more:

Whitmire, J., Morgan, J.F., Oron-Gilad, T. and Hancock, P.A. (in press) The Effect of In-Vehicle Warning Systems on Speed Compliance in Work Zones, Transportation Research part F. Accpeted April 2011.

The Effect of In-Vehicle Warning Systems on Speed Compliance in Work Zones, Whitmire, James; Morgan, J.F.; Oron-Gilad, Tal; Hancock, P.A., Human Factors and Ergonomics Society Annual Meeting Proceedings 2010, Surface Transportation , pp. 2023-2027(5)

See also the poster presented at HUMANIST

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