"Augmented Reality Windshield Displays for Automated Driving"
Augmented Reality Windshield Displays for Automated Driving
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The advancement of automated driving technology promises a magnitude of benefits for society and individuals, such as increased safety, improved traffic efficiency, or mobility for the impaired. Still, the potentially greatest benefit for the individual is the possibility to engage in non-driving related tasks (NDRTs), such as office work (e.g., writing emails, performing video calls and chats) and entertainment activities (e.g., gaming, watching a movie). The novel opportunity to engage in NDRTs could be achieved by utilizing novel display interfaces such as windshield displays (WSDs), enabled with augmented reality visualization capabilities for assisting the driver with depth perception. A windshield display provides a larger display space as compared to head-up displays (HUDs), and covers the driver's field of view through the vehicle's windscreen. However, the different levels of vehicle automation must be considered when new driver-vehicle cooperation interfaces are introduced. In SAE level 3, drivers must be prepared to resume control of the vehicle at any time, and on short notice, while in SAE level 5, the vehicle is able to perform the entire dynamic driving task without any need of a human operator. This issues a number of challenges to automotive user interfaces (AUIs), such as increased workload or stress resulting from frequent task modality switching. For SAE level 3 and higher, WSDs can support the driver in performing NDRTs using visualization techniques with the aim that distraction becomes engagement. Therefore, new AUIs must be introduced and evaluated, or existing AUIs must be adapted to increase user experience (UX) in automated vehicles while maintaining driver situation awareness. Improved safety for vulnerable road users or drivers with cognitive impairments can be achieved with WSDs by showing potential hazards directly in the driver's field of view. However, little research has been conducted on how potential users would use these displays, which information they desire, or where content should be located, and how to safely interact with this user interface in an automated vehicle. Therefore, in our research, we explore WSD content visualization and placement techniques as well as interaction modalities to support the driver in NDRTs engagements to improve safety and in-vehicle user experiences. Our user-centered design process encompassed the development of a virtual reality driving simulator for conducting safe and visually immersive user studies. Our results highlight the potential of WSDs for automated driving, driver/passenger preference for personalized content presentations, novel interactions as well as safety considerations when performing visually and cognitively demanding NDRTs.