Thursday, January 26, 2012

Research: "Digital Drivestyle"

Several articles upon my research have emphasized several pros and cons about the implementation of technology and wether they enhance the driving of experience or diminish it. These are some key points that I was able to digest out of each article.

Washington Times by Rita Cook, March 2, 2011

-Car's in recent years have become a person's second home.
-There are large of ergonomics problems, that over time can cause greater health issues. Specially in cars, due to seats: the lack of leg room and posture, improper seat height or steering wheel that is not properly adjusted.
- Automobiles should create an easy to use and comfortable environment for older drivers, younger drivers and passengers.
- Age plays a great role for cognitive capabilities and for older drivers.
-Colors : yellow, red, orange, yellow-greens and white displays are almost always recommend on contrasting backgrounds.
-Ergonomic big hitters include controls and displays logically grouped and strategically located so that all are within a comfortable reach and fully visible from a seated position.
-The interface between the driver/passengers with the vehicle is simple and intuitive.
-Feeling of spaciousness in regard to interior surfaces pushed away from occupants, plenty of room from elbow and knee movement.
-Access to controls or storage areas and no obstructions blocking outward visibility.
-The new Chevy Volt dual digital displays on the instrumental panel therefore maximizing intelligibility of the information and minimize distractions.
-Leaving conventions like the conventional shift pattern order: park, reverse, neutral and drive, therefore being ergo-friendly.
1. Customers don't understand the graphic on the display, or how to operate a control or where to find it.
2.Unable to reach something comfortably, or being uncomfortable do to seats having poor contours or surfaces that don't permit freedom of arm or leg movement.
-One main factor for design interface, that people are information impatient and drivers are result oriented.
-Less is more: there core driving functions need to integrate seamlessly with device usability and functionality. Consequently the challenge for ergonomics practitioners is to provide the right information, at the right time and the right sensory modality and the right place.

Consumer Reports: June 24,2011

-The increasing population of baby boomers, has lead to address their fonts to make them easier to read on interior displays.
-The letters and numbers on the center stack will be thicker and bolder ( 40 % wider stroke) starting with the 2013 Ford Edge and Explorer.
-Ford after conducting a legibility study with young participants and retirees: two specific areas were derived from the study-size, shapes of fonts and their contrast.
- Researchers found that font changes were made for older groups, everyone could read it. The fonts that were most readable had a larger height, wider width, and thinner stroke.
-Vision problems are more common as people age.
-Addressing this need of the aging population is important due to the fact that people over 65 will soon outnumber children under 5 for the first time ever.
-78% of the population 70 years old are licensed drivers and are keeping their licensees longer and driving more miles.

Silicon Filter by Frederic Lardinois: June 24, 2011
-Cars are becoming sophisticated computers on wheels and new cars often feature technologies like speech recognition, lane departure warnings, adaptive cruise control and blind-zone alerts.
-J.D Power and Associates Initial Quality Study (2011): new technologies end up confusing users and have lead to a massive drop in quality rating for some manufactures.
-MyFord and SYNC systems are systems that were developed which their access is through voice commands.

Smart Planet
by Reena Jana, September 19,2011

-Well designed interiors, easy-to-use cup holders, to the position of door locks that satisfies most new auto owners.
-According to the J.D Power and Associates Initial Quality Study (2011), specifically the U.S. Interior Quality and Satisfaction Study , 73,000 new-car owners who bought a 2011-model-year auto. They were asked about technical defects and design issues they experienced during the first 90 days that they owned their vehicles:
-The 5 most frequently reported car interior problems are all design-related, rather than technical.

Huffington Post, by Bianca Bosker January 12,2012

-Carmakers' relentless attempts to distinguish their wares by incorporating drivers' demand for more convenience and customization in their cars.
-Automobiles are becoming more like computers than ever before.
-Touchscreens, software, apps and social media-to expand the capabilities of the car, even going so far as to transform it from a vehicle to a companion and entertainment hub.
(In this speech Zetche addressed the transformation of today's digital lifestyle into tomorrow's "digital drivestyle.")
-Many car companies have concentrated in navigation tools and safety features controlled from the dashboard by the driver's voice much like Siri in Apple's iPhone 4S.
-Technology like apps, touchscreens, GPS, voice recognition software, personal assistant capabilities and the ability to place calls.
-Cars need to keep up with drivers' constantly connected lifestyle and their expectations of being able to update Facebook status, check their voice mail or search the web any time and any place.
-Ford recently decided to push the idea of "car that cares". Ford's engineers envision a vehicle that would assume more responsibility for well-being of its passengers and evolve into a caretaker, that can improve the lifestyle of it's driver both inside and outside the car.
-Ford is researching sensors into seats of it's to track his or her body weight.
-Health: Diabetic at the wheel will be abel to sync his or her bluetooth enable glucose monitor with the car and give him alerts when blood sugar drop.
-Car would track elevations in stress levels and react accordingly to cut out distractions, such as sending calls to voice mail until a driver is more relaxed.
-Emotional bond with the car, a car that understands you, and your needs.
-Car can be a friend
-Audi and BMW: exploring the idea of vehicle-to-vehicle communication, cars could track other cars' locations and anticipate changes in their positions, potentially reducing collisions.
-Cadillac's CUE system that will be available in spring 2012, the cars will be equipped with Pandora and will be able to support other apps, provides directions, hands-free calling and the driver's digital music library.
-Mercedes-Benz: is expected to have a simplified version of Facebook app, that restricts text while the car is in motion.
-Approximately 3,092 people have died in 2010 distracted-driving related collisions, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
*"...this potentially can be more of a distraction to the driver." Ron Medford, the deputy administrator of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. ---Developing safety guidelines for these systems will be important.
*Driving is the most important task ( and concentration on the road)

by Dee-ann Durbin, Jun.23,2011

-Automakers eager to meet customers' demands for new technology.
-Technology taking a toll on quality.
-Users complaint about audio entertainment and navigation.
-Automakers need to be making sure technology is easy for people to operate while driving.

USA Today, by Chris Woodyard, January 11, 2012

-New technology in the car features, a new survey finds.
-Popular features:
1.lane changing
2. blind-spot warning systems
3. Cars that automatically call 911 if they are involved in a crash ( even though in a recent study another 83% want the car to stop itself before notifying 911 operators of a problem.)

-Growing demand for automated driver-assistance and traffic-avoidance technologies, according to a new global study by Accenture.
-"...consumers that are currently focused technologies."
-Consumers would like cars to be more equipped with more communication-and information-related capabilities-creating the 'connected vehicle'.

Autoblog, by Damon Lavrinc, January 17,2012

-System K2, is a prototype for the next genration of cockpit design and it's way things are going. In the middle the dashboard is a 12-inch capacitive touchscreen. It has a customizable component, you set up a profile and choose what features you want and routes you take on a regular basis, your calendar, your to-dos and your music, and sync everything ove the air into your car.
-The instrument panel is one elongated, customizable screen, allowing you to change gauges and get continuous flow of information on the left side of the screen (weather, stocks, tweets, whatever. But it only displays things while you're stopped.
-Text-to-speech for your calendar,reroutes you based on construction or accidents on your drive to work and sends a message to your client that you'll be 15 minutes late.
-While driving driving the entire interface collapses and simplifies so distractions are kept to a minimum. If you need to interact with the system, is all about voice commands ( similar to Siri)
-Garmin, is another system that has sensors on the steering wheel that detect the driver's hands that are on the wheel, depending on the user the system open s up more features -web browsing to navigation input.

k2 system for Mazda

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