Enough confidence to let go of the wheel
Ateam is a student team, which is supported by Eindhoven University of Technology, Fontys, TNO and NXP, focusing autonomous and connected driving. The team has two vehicles, which both have the capability of Level 3 autonomous driving and can communicate with each other. The HMI system of one car of them, named “KITT”, aims to enhance trust and situation awareness of the driver (operator), passengers, surrounding drivers as well as pedestrians, through various design solutions.
Autonomous driving technology is evolving quickly, and self-driving cars are fast becoming a reality. However, despite the technological advancement making driverless cars possible, in order for them to find wide usage, such cars need to inspire trust and confidence in their abilities. In the context of autonomous vehicles, from a Human-Machine Interaction (HMI) point of view, this calls for a way for the car to show its intent to its users.
Within the vehicle, the human occupants need to know the car’s state (whether or not it is driving in autonomous mode), as well as its intended path (not only whether it is going straight or intending to make a turn, but also small changes in trajectory like an overtaking manoeuvre). Outside the car, pedestrians, cyclists, and other traffic also need to know about the car’s intended trajectory, whether it intends to stop or drive, and its behaviour so that they can effectively interact with the car and negotiate movement in traffic. Overall, this calls for a general feedback of the situation awareness of the car, both inside and outside the vehicle.
Wang et al, Designing for Enhancing Situational Awareness of Semi-Autonomous Driving Vehicles, AutomotiveUI '17 Adjunct,September, 2017, Oldenburg.