Key Issues in Automotive HMI for Elderly and Disabled Drivers - The CONSENSUS Approach
Abstract The need for self-depending transport being a most basic need for every human being, highlights the necessity to provide to the group of elderly and disabled (E&D) the necessary support and to secure their safety and success in reaching their destination. Driving a car is of high significance to their mobility, as the car is their second most popular transportation mean. On the HMI level, whatever is good for all is usually good also for Elderly & Disabled people, but the level of gain is disproportionate. Differences in the eccentricity of the information provision or the part of the visual field where the information is presented makes a much greater difference for Elderly & Disabled drivers [Klein, 1991]. The introduction of telematic aids and Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) has initially provided a new obstacle to the drivability of E&D people. Initial systems have inflexible characteristics (operation elements, controls location, system actuation and feedback times) that were not appropriate for many E&D drivers. Into the bargain, several ADAS control elements are placed in areas incompatible with driver adaptations and aids for E&D drivers. This paper presents such considerations from Pilots conducted within projects TRAVELGUIDE, EDDIT, TELAID, and TELSCAN. If an appropriate HMI is selected, ADAS may reduce the workload and in fact enhance the drivability of E&D drivers. Relevant tests conducted within TELAID project show an enhancement in parking task performance and ACC functions when appropriately designed ADAS are used. CONSENSUS, a Thematic Network promoting the driving ability of E&D through common methodologies and normative tools, assesses the appropriateness of ADAS functionalities and their HMI to the residual abilities of the target group, and proposes new functionalities and interaction principles for their benefit. Preliminary findings highlight the importance of a Tjunction aid, lane recognition and maintenance and blind spot avoidance functions, as well as, parking support for E&D drivers. Interface modalities considered focus on combined use of audio and visual messages, as well as, the use of haptic messages of adaptable frequency, intensity, and sequence.