Ramesh Lagoo

PhD Student
Project title: An investigation into real-time gesture interaction with audio and visual infotainment systems for automotive environment

The recent developments in mobile communications have made it possible to have immediate access to data and instant notification of communication opportunities, which is required and is desirable. In particular, smart-phones, mp3 players and other devices, which provide high-speed wireless connectivity, have significantly empowered users to access the aforementioned infotainment sources through their vehicles.

In particular the need to maintain access to available information remains continuous even outwith the urban environment. Concurrent drivers and passengers have a constant demand of infotainment requirements, which need to be met effectively. Various systems including Head Up Displays are currently attempting to provide this capacity to vehicle drivers, although still in a relatively early stage of development. However, the aforementioned requirements of the passengers, has still not been investigated.

Head-Up Display (HUD) interfaces present fresh opportunities for the portrayal of information and its access using symbolic/alphanumeric representation and feature a larger viewing area than was previously possible. They have mainly been designed for the driver with a view to enhance their information retrieving capacity whilst minimising the distraction caused whilst driving.

The displayed information should be desirable and should be controllable by natural gestures that could be performed within the vicinity of the driving area without causing any attention deficit or increasing the cognitive load for the driver.

It has to be noted that all the passengers, have currently limited access to the infotainment systems due to physical constraints in the vehicle cabin. A proposed novel virtual 3D interface should be available for full interaction and free from the dashboard-bound approach.

This will require an intensive understanding regarding the nature of driving, primary and secondary tasks of driving, distractions for a driver, gestures, gestural controllers and current trends of increasing need for seamless information and entertainment while driving.

As such this research will investigate the feasibility, benefits and drawbacks of a system that could incorporate gesture interaction through audio and visual cues provided by a prototype interface. This study also aims to develop the guidelines for the HUDs utilisation and placement in a manner to decrease attention deficit and increase safety
whilst driving.