Visual information in the driver’s line of sight: an
evaluation of advanced driver display and head-up display

University essay from Luleå/Arbetsvetenskap

Abstract: Driving a car is visually highly demanding, since it includes searching for,
detecting and reading information. The information shall then be interpreted
and valued, as a part of the decision making process – often within a short
period of time. From time to time the amount of information exceed the
capacity of the driver, and this increases the risk of an accident.

Volvo Car Corporation wanted to find of if the driver’s situation, and
safety, could be helped by presenting some information in a higher position
than today, above the steering wheel. It was of interest to see what kind of
visual information would benefit the most from this position and how the
information should be designed. Two technical solutions where evaluated:
one display with perceived depth, ‘advanced driver display’ (ADD),
developed by Jaguar, and one ‘head-up display’ (HUD), designed by BMW.

Literature studies and interviews with people experienced in developing the
driver area, have formed a base on which the evaluations are built.

A HUD solution is recommended for presenting information which seeks
the driver’s attention and is related to the driving task, example of this is
warnings and navigation help. This kind of information should be salient and
placed in a high location, between 4° and 8° down from a horizontal line
of sight in the driver’s field of view (vertically), to be quick to read and
to enable the driver to use the peripheral vision to detect danger and
traffic. It is important to keep the amount of information as low as
possible. A focal distance greater than 2.5 m makes it easy for the driver
to refocus. Green is recommended as the main colour and red is recommended
for acute warnings. The height of alphanumerics is recommended to cover
the driver’s field of view at least 0.40° vertically. Since symbols often
hold more information per area it is recommended that they are larger than
the alphanumerics.