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Nwakacha, Valentine (2014)
Languages: English
Types: Unknown
Vehicle Satellite Navigation Systems are commonplace but from a safety point of view, can be problematic. They are situated on small screens and often placed at an angle which is not in the driver’s field of view. This promotes glances away from the road and reduces situational awareness for events which occur. Audio commands and visual maps which are used to instruct drivers typically require translation to situationally meaningful actions before execution in the real world. This increases the driver’s workload and risk of distraction.\ud \ud A virtual car head-up display concept which is novel to this thesis is introduced. The design was motivated by issues in the literature regarding workload and risk of distraction and was shaped using a field study. Also, as head-up displays are becoming common in new vehicles, the benefits they offer have been explored in the design of the virtual car head-up display. Navigation instructions would be embedded in a familiar object to the driver; a car image, to support driving practices (e.g. indicating, lane positioning and turning) which are absent in the abstract commands and visual maps employed by vehicle satellite navigation systems. The navigation instructions used by the virtual car head-up display are easy to understand and can reduce the processing times for the instructions. For example, rather than translate audio commands e.g. “after 200 yards turn left”, the driver sees the virtual car indicate left 200 yards from the turn and sees it turn left on arrival at the turn. Also, rather than translate complex visual maps, the driver replicates the actions of the virtual car.\ud \ud An initial prototype for the virtual car head-up display was designed after which usability evaluation was carried out in a driving simulator to refine the concept. The first two studies were part of the design process and involved assessing the feasibility and conformity of the virtual car head-up display. It was found that the virtual car head-up display was an intelligible way to present the navigation instructions to drivers and that it was better to conform the virtual car to the external environment. The third study compared the prototype of the virtual car head-up display with the prototype of an arrow head-up display and vehicle satellite navigation system. It was found that the virtual car head-up display had the least workload and risk of distraction and was the easiest to use. A synthesis of the research work is provided which outlines the key contributions to research.
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