Jaguar Land Rover joins in-car technology consortium

Jaguar Land Rover has joined AHEAD, a consortium aiming to reduce the potential for driver distraction in future vehicle human machine interface (HMI) systems.

AHEAD (Advanced Human Factors Evaluator for Automotive Distraction) was founded by MIT AgeLab, DENSO and Touchstone Evaluations to look at how the demands of using voice controls, touchscreens and switchgear can be reliably and effectively measured.

The consortium aims to produce a quantifiable, objective evaluation toolkit that can be used across the industry to support new HMI development. This is expected to improve the effectiveness and reliability of data and help manufacturers and electronics suppliers to produce new interfaces that meet all manufacturer, consumer and regulatory requirements.

In a statement Doug Patton, senior vice president of Engineering at DENSO America said: ‘We know drivers want to be connected while driving, but how do we safely give drivers what they want?

‘To do this we need to evaluate driver workload, but currently there isn’t a quantifiable and objective metrology model in place.

‘Not to mention, there’s a high price tag attached to researching and developing something like this. With that said, forming a consortium will help reach the goal of establishing a common methodology.’

The current methods for evaluating HMI technologies mainly use criteria developed before the introduction of systems such as voice controls, touchscreens and multi-function controllers. They also don’t take into account the impact of the driver moving between different modes of use, such as vision, touch, sound, haptics, gesture and cognition.

AHEAD aims to make it more feasible to evaluate demands at an early prototype stage, when design changes can be made more easily and effectively, rather than later in the vehicle development process.