On-Road Evaluation of In-vehicle Interface Characteristics and Their Effects on Performance of Visual Detection on the Road and Manual Entry Academic Article uri icon

abstract

  • OBJECTIVE: This study investigated the impact of in-vehicle interface characteristics on drivers' multitasking performance measures relating to visual attention management, concerning the distraction potential of in-vehicle touchscreens. BACKGROUND: Compared with physical controls providing drivers with naturalistic nonvisual cues, in-vehicle touchscreen interaction relies on vision to a greater extent, leading to more time with eyes off the road and concerns for safety. Little is known from existing research about the extent to which synthetic feedback of in-vehicle touchscreens support visual attention of multitasking drivers, while automakers are increasingly incorporating nondriving functions into in-vehicle touchscreens. METHOD: Twenty-nine participants drove an instrumented vehicle on a closed course and acknowledged visual probes obscured on the roadside, while performing a manual data entry task with input interfaces mounted on the center console. The interfaces differed by interface type, key feedback modality, and key size; the configuration of interface characteristics was the within-subject variable. The collected data include performance measures concerning visual detection and touchscreen interaction, in addition to perceived workload. RESULTS: The addition of nonvisual feedback to touchscreen interaction significantly improved accuracy and promptness of visual detection. No significant difference was found between different sizes of touchscreen keys when synthetic nonvisual feedback was available. Given multisensory feedback, no measure showed a difference between touchscreen conditions and a physical keypad. CONCLUSION: The provision of synthetic nonvisual feedback to touchscreen interaction can support visual attention and enhance multitasking performance in driving. APPLICATION: This study can inform in-vehicle interface designers and policy makers concerned with distracted driving and safety.

author list (cited authors)

  • Suh, Y., & Ferris, T. K.

citation count

  • 4

publication date

  • February 2019