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Evaluation of Man Machine Interface by Simulation techniques


The main objective of the project is to generate procedures for the evaluation of the Man-Machine Interface (MMI) of ATT Functions using simulation techniques.
Procedures have been generated for the evaluation of the man machine interface (MMI) of advanced transport telematics (ATT) functions using simulation techniques.
The technical approach is based on the application of the following tools:
rapid prototyping, for the fast and flexible implementation of simulated displays and controls;
driving simulators, with emphasis on static systems;
driver specific performance evaluation tools, considering experimental and model based techniques.

The ATT applications to be implemented in 3 driving simulators have been selected and a framework based on driving tasks and driver behaviour indicates broad guidelines for the MMI. A general definition of the simulator experiments and related ATT functions have been obtained; these include a strategical driving task (navigation), a basically tactical task (collision warning) and a control task (intelligent cruise control). For each experiment MMI solutions are outlined, addressing the use of rapid prototyping to realize displays and controls in a flexible manner.

Evaluation methodologies have been specified, taking into consideration 4 aspects of usability (driving performance, cognitive workload, system robustness and user acceptance) and the associated quantities to be measured with subjects performing specific tasks.
The role and functions of model based evaluation have been defined (models of MMI dialogue and of an ideal user, evaluation of learning times, learning transfer, execution times and visual distractions).

Integration of a traffic simulator in one of the experiments has been designed in order to produce controlled and realistic traffic scenarios. In an initial approach fixed trajectories of vehicles are generated; in a second phase traffic reacts to the manoeuvres of the driver.
Technical Approach

The technical approach is based on the application of the following tools:

Rapid Prototyping, for the fast and flexible implementation of simulated displays and controls;
Driving simulators, with emphasis on static systems;
Driver specific performance evaluation tools, considering experimental and model based techniques.

The Project will be articulated with the following phases:

1. Definition Phase.
To obtain the requirements for the components of the simulation environment (including visual and sound cues, dynamic model of the vehicle, feedbacks to the driver, traffic scenarios) and evaluation tools (driving performance, attentional behaviour, learning time, execution time, etc);

2. System development

To develop the simulation system, hardware mock-ups, test instrumentation, reproduce some selected ATT functions and integration tools;

3. Application phase

To perform man-in-the-loop experiments with a representative sample of observers, validate the results by comparisons with real world, and finally study major effects of MMI solutions on traffic and driver behaviour.

Previous research work, will be taken into account for the developments, including:

Model based evaluation models (PROMETHEUS DIADEM)
Traffic simulation models (DRIVE)
Cooperative driving simulation (simple scenarios)

Key Issues

Techniques for Rapid Prototyping of displays and controls;
application of driver performance evaluation tools;
application of tools for the model based dialogue evaluation;
simulator experiments demonstrations;
validation of the EMMIS concept and methodologies;
recommendations for the design of MMI for specific ATT Functions.

Expected Achievements.

Definition and implementation of software/hardware adaptations of Rapid Prototyping and Simulators to perform the simulation experiments for the selected applications.
Integration a single workstation of Model Based Evaluation tool and Rapid Prototyping tool to develop them simultaneously for new MMI solutions of ATT functions.
Performance, analysis and assessment of the first simulation experiments of the selected applications.
First validation of navigation simulator experiments using test field with an equipped car.

Expected Impact

The project will contribute to the definition and diffusion at European level of guide-lines for in-vehicle MMI. These guide-lines will be useful for ATT pilot projects and for the definition of European standards proposal.

The project will also generate useful tools for the production of acceptable solution in the respect of safety and functionality, contributing to the diffusion of ATT Functions. The use of developed methodologies will allow to reduce time to market and costs in the design phase.

Contributions to Standards

A close relationship will be maintained with other DRIVE projects in the Drive Assistance and Co-operative Driving field, especially for harmonization and effectiveness of the research effort (e.g.: Hardie, Tesco and Socrates). This connection will contribute to the diffusion of the Standards and to the definition of new ones.


Centro Ricerche Fiat SCpA
Strada Torino 50
10043 Orbassano Torino

Participants (7)

Knorrstraße 147
8000 München
Centro Studi sui Sistemi di Trasporto SpA (CSST)
Via G Giolitti 48
10123 Torino
Fraunhofer Straße 1
7500 Karlsruhe
Chalmers Teknik Park
41288 Gothenburg
Technischer Überwachungsverein Rheinland eV
Am Grauen Stein
51105 Köln
Università degli Studi di Trieste
Via Dell'università 7
34123 Trieste

58101 Linkoping