||The vision of AIDE
At 16.30 Maria leaves her work at the law firm, situated in the city centre.
In her handbag she carries her P-Com1 (personalised communications-) device containing all the computing functions she needs at work and in her daily life, including mobile phone, electronic organiser, wireless Internet access, media player, navigation aid etc
When she enters her car, the P-Com seamlessly connects with the VAN (Vehicle Area Network). Maria sits down in the driver's seat.
All the P-Com functions are now accessible directly from the vehicle's interface. She gives a quick voice command and soon the new David Torn record that she just downloaded on the P-Com sounds in the vehicle audio system. All displays in the vehicle are deep blue, Maria's favourite colour.
Maria has defined the basic settings of the driver-vehicle interface herself, and her personal preferences are stored on a smart card. Thus, the interface looks the same when she borrows her boyfriend's car, which follows the same standard, (as most vehicles do, thanks to joint standardisation efforts by the automotive industry in the past decade). Moreover, her interaction with different systems, as well as her driving characteristics, is continuously monitored and her driving profile stored. Thus, the driver-vehicle interface functions can be fine-tuned in order to further meet her needs and expectations.
Maria's car features most modern active safety systems, such as lane control support, collision warning, enhanced vision, safe following and pedestrian detection. Together with other in-vehicle systems (and devices brought into the vehicle such as the P-Com), they share an integrated multimodal driver-vehicle interface consisting of a number of carefully designed and positioned input/output interface devices (normal displays, head-up displays, buttons, knobs, 3D audio system, seat vibrations, haptic feedback in the steering wheel etc.) The interface is under centralised control of an Interaction and Communication Assistant (ICA), which ensures that information is given to the driver at the right time and in the right way and that only functions that are relevant in the present driving context are active.
Maria starts the car and drives through the city centre towards the motorway that leads to the small seaside town where she lives. When the car starts moving, all functions not suitable for use while driving are disabled. It is rush hour and the streets are crowded with other vehicles, pedestrians and bicyclists.
By means of using information gathered from on-board sensors combined with a satellite-based positioning system, the car knows that the driving situation is demanding and adapts the driver-vehicle interface so that Maria can concentrate on the driving. Thus, the information given through the interface is reduced to a minimum and all non-critical information is put on hold until later. Moreover, irrelevant safety systems, e.g. lateral control support, are disabled.
When Maria stops at a traffic light a voice message is given informing her that the road ahead is blocked and suggests an alternative route. This message was judged by to be sufficiently important to be let through despite the overall demanding driving context, but the system waited to present it until the workload was temporary reduced at the traffic light.
Maria enters the highway and after a few seconds a voice message is given notifying her that she received a new e-mail while driving in the city. The system asks whether she wants to have it read to her. However, she feels that it can wait until later and answers "no" by a slightly shaking her head.
After driving for a few minutes on the highway, Maria starts thinking about a complex lawsuit that she has been assigned the responsibility for at work. The vehicle detects the increased cognitive activity from changes in her eye-movement patterns (detected by the cameras in the dashboard).
After a while, the vehicle in front of hers brakes for a traffic queue. This is detected by the collision avoidance system, which alerts Maria of the potential danger using a flashing light combined with a slight seat vibration. She gets the alert well in time to be able to avoid the danger. However, since Maria was cognitively distracted, the warning was given earlier and the intensity of the warning was stronger than would have been the case if Maria had been fully attentive.
Usually, Maria does not reflect much over her in-vehicle information- and safety systems, as they have become a natural part of her driving activity. However, now she comes to think about what her friend Lisa often tells her.
Lisa works for a major supplier of in-vehicle safety systems where she is the head of the human-machine interaction department. She always talks about the importance of understanding the driver-vehicle interaction as well as the needs and preferences of the driver, and to take this into account from the earliest stages of system development. One of her favourite stories is about a European project, which was her first assignment when she was new at the company. In this project, she says, much of the knowledge and design concepts behind today's adaptive integrated driver-vehicle interfaces were developed, as well as the enabling technologies and standardisation necessary for their market exploitation. ...