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Federal Highway Administration Research and Technology
Coordinating, Developing, and Delivering Highway Transportation Innovations

This report is an archived publication and may contain dated technical, contact, and link information
Publication Number: FHWA-RD-03-065
Date: September 2004

In-Vehicle Display Icons and Other Information Elements: Volume I

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These human factors design guidelines for in-vehicle display icons are the product of nearly 5 years of investigation into human factors design issues and driver requirements for in-vehicle icons and symbols. Although four authors are identified with this document, development of these preliminary guidelines has required the participation of many dedicated individuals.

In particular, the authors would like to express their sincere gratitude to Dr. Tom Granda, our current FHWA Contracting Officer's Technical Representative (COTR), for this project, as well as to Chris Monk, Maureen Hunter, and Ron Hoffman of SAIC for their tireless assistance during the conduct of this project. The direction, feedback, and advice provided by our FHWA/SAIC colleagues on this effort have been both timely and invaluable.

We are also grateful for the direct assistance in the development of this handbook provided by Dr. Steve Casey, of Ergonomics System Design, Inc., and by our colleague, Ozgur Simsek. Dr. Casey was responsible for much of the development of the Sensory Modality Design Tool presented in chapter 10, while Ms. Simsek wrote most of the evaluation/statistical tutorial presented in chapter 9.

We give additional thanks to graduate assistants Dawn Marshall, Andrea Tawil, Emily Wiese, and Mahesh Chandramouli of The University of Iowa, and to Elizabeth Mitchell, a former graduate assistant here at Battelle. Each of these individuals spent countless hours searching the internet and other commercial and government sources for potential icons and symbols to be included in the icon collection. Also, Kristi Schmidt of the University of Iowa contributed to the Icon research conducted during a summer internship at Battelle; her assistance is greatly appreciated.

We would also like to thank our support staff, Mary Winter, Sharon Groves and Judy Panjeti, for their hard work and resourcefulness during the development of the guidelines.

We owe a special thanks and debt of gratitude to the 38 researchers, designers, and developers of transportation systems who agreed to be members of our Project Working Group1 and who volunteered their time to help make this guideline handbook more relevant and useful. We greatly appreciate all the time, expertise, and insight this talented group of people has shared with us during the conduct of his project. Specifically, we wish to thank:

Linda Angell

General Motors Corporation

Barry H. Kantowitz, Ph.D.

University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute

Mike Campbell

National Weather Service, Flagstaff

Rick Karbowski

Ford Motor Company

Cher Carney

Battelle Human Factors Transportation Center

Raymond J. Kiefer

General Motors Corporation

Peter Chin


Chris Kirn

DaimlerChrysler Research and Technology

Mark Cummings-Hill

Delphi/Delco Electronics Systems

James A. Kleiss

Johnson Controls, Inc.

David G. Curry

Packer Engineering, Inc.

Ken Kobetsky

American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials

Stuart DeSpain


John D. Lee

University of Iowa

James P. Foley, Ph.D.

MitreTek Systems, Inc

Eddy Llaneras

Westat, Inc

Thomas M. Granda, Ph.D. (FHWA COTR)

Federal Highway Administration

Marvin McCallum, Ph.D. (Project Task Leader)

Battelle Human Factors Transportation Center

Barry Grant

Ford Motor Company

Christopher Monk (SAIC)

Office of Health CareRegulation, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

Ronald B. Hoffman, Ph.D. (SAIC)

Federal Highway Administration

Mark Ohashi

Toyota Technical Center, USA

David Hoffmeister

Ford Motor Company

Colleen Page


Maureen L. Hunter

Avia Technology

Joel B. Richman (Project Task Leader)

Battelle Human Factors Transportation Center

Steven K. Jahns

PACCAR Technical Center

Gary L. Rupp

Ford Motor Company

Tina Brunetti Sayer

Visteon Automotive Systems, ETC

Blaine Tsugawa


Colleen Serafin

Johnson Controls, Inc

Jonathan Upchurch, Ph.D., P.E.

University of Massachusetts—Amherst

Valerie K. Sims

University of Central Florida

Dave Wheatley

Motorola Laboratories

Marc Todd


Peter Wolff

DaimlerChrysler Research and Technology

Ben Truelove


Steve Wreggit

DaimlerChrysler Research and Technology

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