Safer secondary tasks in partially self-driving vehicles

Examensarbete för masterexamen
Industrial design engineering (MPDES), MSc
Song, Chenglin
An, Ran
This Master Thesis was conducted at the Industrial Design Engineering program at Chalmers University of Technology in collaboration with Autoliv Sverige AB. Self-driving cars from Level 1 to Level 3 that are currently ready to be put into the market, the proportion of time that the system controls the car gradually increases. In the future, higher-level autonomous driving technology can further reduce the distraction of perception factors, freeing people's hands to do other things, such as checking emails, watching videos, and reading. We believe that there is a possibility of a screen on the steering wheel of the car to perform secondary tasks. The aim was to come up with conceptual graphical user interface design alternatives for the touch screen control that could provide safer secondary tasks during SAE L3 automation. Academic research in related fields, user study and benchmarking were performed before designing. The deliverables were two concepts for steering wheel screens in different directions, including concept sketches and high-fidelity prototypes of the user interfaces for Gmail and Youtube respectively of the two concepts. Concept I uses a mobile phone as a screen mounted on the steering wheel to present information and provide control functions. The phone could be connected with the vehicle system to display the user interface through the center screen. In addition the user can use a stick and a voice assistance physical button to control the center screen for secondary tasks. Concept II integrates a touchpad screen on the right-hand side of the steering wheel as a small display and controller for the central display. The screen can switch between a display and a touchpad when performing secondary tasks. A final user testing was performed after building the high-fidelity prototypes. The test results show that the proposed concepts can meet the project objectives to a certain extent, and further professional testing is needed. This thesis provides a feasible scheme for level 3 autonomous vehicles to perform secondary tasks, and open up new possibilities for level 3 and other autonomous vehicles to perform secondary tasks.
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