Modern vehicles are being equipped with ever more extensive infotainment systems. These systems offer functions such as telephoning, navigation and the ability to read and write SMS messages while driving. Because of the wide range of functions, many car manufacturers rely on displays in the centre console to inform the driver about the current status of the infotainment system. Touch and multi-touch displays are often used for this purpose.
The overall objective of the project was to examine the positioning of an infotainment multi-touch display in the centre console of a passenger car (C-segment) and the resulting conflict of objectives between optimal operation (low position) and the shortest possible times of gaze aversion (high position).
Initially, three possible positions (top, middle, bottom) of a multi-touch display in the vehicle were ergonomically designed and implemented in the driving simulator of the IAD. Additionally, a hand / arm rest was defined for each display position to support the driver during operation. At the same time, an experimental concept was developed which included the processing of several secondary tasks via the display while driving. After the selected positions, the developed test concept, the created questionnaires as well as the specially designed simulator route were pre-tested, a test study with 30 subjects was carried out using the driving simulator of the IAD. In addition to the subjective questionnaires, various objective test data (including gaze behaviour, gaze aversion times, lane keeping quality) were recorded and integrated into the final assessment.
Based on the subjective and objective data obtained during the tests, the display position that combines optimal usability with low gaze aversion times was identified. In addition, findings on the need for an arm / wrist-rest were collected and the acceptance of the multi-touch infotainment system was evaluated.