Monday, September 11, 2006

An introduction to gesture recognition technology and how it could improve automotive safety

Improving auto safety with UI's to keep drivers eyes on the road ...

"An introduction to gesture recognition technology and how it could improve automotive safety Carl Pickering explains the concept of gesture recognition technology and how it has the potential to reduce drivers’ eyes-off-the-road and hands-off-the-wheel time, thereby significantly improving road safety.

Not too long ago, when the instrument panel on a popular car consisted of just five or six instruments and five or six auxiliary (secondary) controls to operate the radio and heating system, the idea of making a hand gesture in a designated space to operate one of these controls would rightly have been seen as an unnecessary extravagance at best.

Today, when the typical instrument panel may have a menu-based system with over one hundred secondary control feature options and settings, developing a gesture-based control system for specific information and entertainment (infotainment) controls is a very serious issue that could save lives.

In 1999, The Commission of the European Communities recognised the potential dangers and issued a recommendation on safe and efficient in-vehicle information and communication systems: 'A European statement of principles on human machine interface, to ensure secondary controls are designed to meet safe and common standards', which cites driver distraction as one of the reasons for producing the recommendation.

Furthermore, in 2004, General Motors issued a public statement which suggested that driver distraction contributes to 25 per cent of crashes, and identified four guiding principles in designing the HMI, the first of which is to ‘minimise eyes-off-road and hands-off-wheel time’. This is the prime target for improved HMI safety."   (Continued via Engineer Live!)   [Ergonomics Resources]

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