Safety Driver Manager

Telematics services in cars (like navigation, cellular telephone, internet access) are becoming increasingly popular, but they may distract drivers from their main driving tasks and negatively affect driving safety. This paper addresses some aspects of voice user interface in cars, as a mechanism to increase driver safety. Voice control becomes more efficient in reducing driver distraction if drivers can speak commands in a natural manner rather than having to remember one or two variants supported by the system. In this paper we discuss some ways to increase naturalness. Computers in cars are usually not very powerful due to cost considerations. Low CPU resources are a limiting factor for embedded speech solutions. Another aspect of this paper is a recently introduced novel solution for using a speech interface to reduce driver drowsiness and prevent a driver from falling asleep. All driver activities in cars (driving, talking over telephone, controlling Telematics devices, etc.) contribute to driver workload. Designing workload management in a user interface is a difficult task. In our paper we analyze some aspects of this problem. Finally, we introduce the idea of a distributed user interface between cars. It is well known that the safety of a driver depends not only on the driver himself but on the behavior of other drivers nearby. Therefore sharing some information about other cars and driver conditions could lead to increased driving safety. For example, if a driver in a nearby car is listening to an e-mail message or has had a high number of traffic accidents in the past, this “heightened risk” information could be sent anonymously to the workload manager in another car. The workload manager would then adjust risk factors in its safety assessment of the environment . In response to the heightened risk caused by the offending car, this workload manager may prevent the telephone from ringing or interrupt a dialog between the driver and a car system in other, nearby cars who are at higher risk because of the nearby “offending” car.

By: Dimitri Kanevsky, Barbara Churchill, Alex Faisman, David Nahamoo, Roberto Sicconi

Published in: RC23301 in 2004


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