Who drives? Me or the car?

In October 2020, Benedetta Grazian graduated cum laude from Delft University of Technology on her work within the MEDIATOR project. Applying a human-centred approach, Benedetta designed and tested an HMI for highly automated vehicles, i.e., automation that allows the driver to be out of the loop a long time (which relates to the MEDIATOR automation level ‘Time to Sleep’). The HMI unobtrusively informs the human driver on the vehicle driving mode, as such clarifying the options for being out of the loop and performing non-driving related tasks. The HMI uses different ambient lighting in combination with window shading and highlighting other road users to either activate or relax the driver. In addition, an interface was designed that gives more detailed information on the current and future available driving modes.

Online tests showed that the HMI helped drivers to understand the situation and to what extent they needed to be actively involved in the driving. The HMI design also resulted in understandable, transparent messages. Benedetta’s work has been a great inspiration during the development of the MEDIATOR HMI.

The full master thesis and a video nicely summarising and visualising the HMI concept is available here »

Image from page 92 in thesis: the tested HMI concept for highly automated vehicles. The abbreviation ‘LOotL’ in this image stands for ‘long time out of the loop’.