Preventing information overload

Preventing information overload

Today, vehicles are equipped with a rapidly increasing amount of interactive technology and devices. If these devices are not properly designed, there is a risk of overloading the driver with information in the wrong situations. That's why research on human-machine interface design and smart workload management is becoming increasingly important.

Since the majority of road accidents are at least partly caused by driver inattention, intelligent workload management of system-initiated information has the potential to reduce accidents.

Collision mitigation, curve speed warning, blind spot detection, drowsiness warning, lane keeping support, GPS, eco driving features, mp3 players, mobile phones and work information are all examples of technology that makes the vehicle smarter, but also risks giving the driver too much information.   

To solve these issues Volvo Group is working on a large number of solutions.

Human Machine Interface
Integrating more functions without adding further distraction is a key issue in research on Human Machine Interface (HMI). Such integration could also mean using a single Head Up Display (HUD) on the wind shield, and a single control for all technologies in the vehicle, no matter if it is a mobile phone, the entertainment system or a GPS. 

Voice commands
Some information between driver and vehicle may be more safely relayed if spoken. Research is being done so that vehicles in the near future will be able both to talk to the driver and to understand natural speech voice commands.

Workload Management
The Volvo Group has already developed systems for delaying incoming messages, for example, when a vehicle is coming to an intersection. The system is able to prioritize between different messages based on the challenges of the driving situation. Future technologies will be capable of handling even more complex situations and may include messages from traffic systems and nearby vehicles.