Monday, October 09, 2006

Gesture recognition technology could improve automotive safety

New dashboard controls will improve 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, driver workload is already heavy in modern cars, with an ever-increasing number of vehicles on the road. This is compounded by a constant stream of new auxiliary devices such as navigation systems, active safety systems, nomadic devices (personal digital assistants and mobile telephones, for example), advanced telematics systems and infotainment systems. The potential for distraction can clearly be seen in the comparison between the JaguarMkV Saloon of 1948-51 (Fig.1) and the 2007 model year JaguarXJ (Fig.2).

Consider that a driver is to perform a specific in-car task. In some cases a single sample of the in-car task is sufficient but, in other cases, more than one sample is required. Glance times typically range from 0.6s to 1.6s, with a mean glance time of about 1.2s. A car moving at 48km/h (30mph) will travel over 15m (50ft) in that time, so driver distraction is now one of the major causes of road accidents."    (Continued via European Design Engineer )    [Ergonomics Resources]

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