Driver AIDE

An all-in-one system to help streamline the wealth of hi-tech gadgetry overwhelming drivers is being developed by Volvo.


The car maker is leading a project with the University of Leeds and other major European universities and manufacturers, including BMW, Peugeot-Citroen and Fiat, to develop the Adaptive Integrated Driver-Vehicle Interface (AIDE) — to combine the current range of in-vehicle technologies.


The EU-funded project is a response to developers’ fears that the safety benefits of in-vehicle technologies could be cancelled out if drivers become over-reliant on advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS), including collision warning and vision enhancement. This is combined with the growing concern that in-vehicle information systems (IVIS) such as communication and information devices could also distract drivers.


Potential for conflict also arises if these different independent devices all compete for the driver’s attention simultaneously, and there is the concern that when systems are combined behavioural responses may differ from when they are used in isolation.


AIDE will use a generic on-board system that can be centrally shared by all ADAS and IVIS technologies, such as head-up displays, seat vibrators and haptic input devices. The system will also be capable of prioritising information from the various technologies and be able to smoothly integrate any ‘nomad’ devices brought on board by passengers or the driver.


Dr Oliver Carsten, director of the Centre for Safety Research at Leeds, has been modelling motorist behaviour, in particular the effects of adaptive systems on their driving.


‘We will be looking at ways of developing a new interface between vehicle and driver, which should simplify the way drivers interact with the new in-vehicle devices.’ he said.


Carsten’s team has been conducting experiments into whether adaptive systems, in which the vehicle reacts differently depending on the driver’s concentration level or age, actually have a positive impact on safety. They will then work on a system for evaluating the safety of vehicle–human interface technologies. Niall Firth