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Publication Number: FHWA-RD-98-178
Date: June 26, 1998

Identification of Human Factors Research Needs - Final Report

 

CONCLUSIONS

The following presents the conclusions that were developed during the conduct of this project:

  • Human factors research needs for the Generation I IVI focus on the need to integrate and manage the information presented to the driver.
  • No publicly available human factors research has examined the effects of integrating multiple ITS devices into a vehicle as envisioned by the IVI.
  • Considerable human factors research has been conducted to support the development of individual User Services within the IVI.
  • A broad range of ITS technologies are available to support the development of a Generation I IVI prototype.
  • For the Generation II and III IVI especially, extensive algorithm/software, infrastructure, and specific technologies are needed.

A discussion of each conclusion follows:

Human factors research needs for the Generation I IVI focus on the need to integrate and manage the information presented to the driver.From the IVI Human Factors Workshop to the review and analysis activities associated with this support, effective information integration and management emerged as a consistent human factors research need. More than 50 percent of the 48 research statements generated by 70 experts at the IVI Human Factors Workshop dealt with this topic. This reflects the belief that, for the driver, the IVI represents new sources of information regarding the vehicle, the vehicle environment, and relevant traffic conditions. Not surprisingly, information management represents a common theme for the human factors research needs among the IVI Candidate Configurations that were developed as part of this effort. This broad research need encompasses recommended IVI human factors research topics such as:

  • Selection of effective display modalities for the IVI.
  • Driver acceptance issues surrounding multi–function displays.
  • Driver workload associated with IVI displays and controls.
  • Design guidelines for multiple collision avoidance/warning devices.
  • Driver tolerance for false alarms generated by CAS devices.
  • Integration of IVI information with existing CVO information sources.
  • Guidelines for the frequency, density, and timing of transit information.

No publicly available human factors research has examined the effects of integrating multiple ITS devices into a vehicle as envisioned by the IVI. All of our activities during this project - our Subject Matter Expert survey of human factors research issues of the IVI, the human factors IVI workshop, the reviews of ITS technology and human factors literature, and our discussions with professionals around the country - have examined this issue and have found no human factors research efforts that have investigated issues directly relevant to an integrated Generation I IVI. While much research has examined individual ITS devices (see below), existing research is insufficient to support an integrated, safe, human–centered IVI. The Generation I IVI represents an increase in the number of displays and controls in the in–vehicle environment; however, more importantly, it represents a significant increase in the amount and complexity of information presented to the driver. If human factors integration and design issues are not addressed throughout the development process for the Generation I IVI, there is a risk that this increase in information will lead to information overload, driver confusion, and actual decreases in driver performance and safety.

Considerable human factors research has been conducted to support the development of individual User Services within the IVI. The development of 16 of the 26 User Services has been supported by directly relevant human factors research. While most of the research reviewed as part of this effort has been funded by the FHWA and NHTSA, more research, undoubtedly, has been funded by industry and remains outside the public domain. While there is little human factors research that can be used to support the development of the IVI (see above), existing research has provided a solid foundation for continuing human factors research on the IVI.

A broad range of ITS technologies are available to support the development of a Generation I IVI prototype. Our review activities have documented the considerable technological progress that has been made on ITS devices globally by auto manufacturers and the electronics industry. Both display and sensor technologies, in particular, are mature enough to support the Generation I IVI.

For the Generation II and III IVI especially, extensive algorithm/software, infrastructure, and specific technologies are need. Two technical areas require additional research and development for the Generation II and III IVI in particular. First, additional software development is needed to develop effective algorithms for information management. These algorithms may be developed with the aid of some form of artificial intelligence (e.g., fuzzy logic, neural networks, or expert systems). Such algorithms are needed to manage, organize, and control the flow of data obtained from vehicle sensors, in–vehicle databases, and the transportation infrastructure. These data provide the basis for key decisions regarding the status of conditions and events external to the vehicle (e.g., crash potential), as well as the IVI information that is displayed to the driver. As the emphasis within the IVI program shifts from full manual control of the vehicle to automatic assist, this issue will become even more critical.

Second, there is little or no infrastructure in place to support the Generation II and III IVI. This is not surprising, yet key IVI User Services require certain infrastructure components and will not be implemented until such infrastructure is available. For example, certain technologies, such as DSRC devices, must be embedded in the infrastructure in order to support User Services such as Location–Specific Alert and Warning. In addition, the capability of these devices needs to be expanded to treat what will most likely be multi–function applications (e.g., ETC, parking garage assignment, and roadside–to–vehicle communications for advanced motorist warnings). Another related technology is a digital map, which could contain data about curves, intersections, railroad crossings, and speed limits. These data could support several User Services, such as Intersection and Road–Departure Crash Avoidance, and perhaps would require additional infrastructure components. Importantly, this additional information is not available in today's digital maps.

 

FHWA-RD-98-178

 

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