The advent of intelligent transport systems (ITS) is about to transform the driving experience. Already the application of advanced technologies to automative engineering has made available on-board digital maps, extensive information databases, vehicle positioning and tracking, and integrated visual and auditory displays. Once perfected and in widespread use, ITS is expected to improve safety, alleviate traffic congestion, decrease transportation costs, increase economic productivity, and reduce the environmental damage caused by the use of motor vehicles. Whereas intelligent transport systems are safety neutral in that they are not inherently beneficial or detrimental, there is the very real danger that, unless the driver-ITS interface is well designed, ITS will be a safety hazard.
The aim of this book is to present knowledge that will contribute to the design of ergonomically sound driver-ITS interfaces. It is based, in part, on papers presented at the Symposium on the Ergonomics of Intelligent Vehicle-Highway Systems (IVHS) held in Toronto during the 12th Congress of the International Ergonomics Association in August 1994. Although intelligent transport systems comprise many different elements, the Symposium focused on the driver-ITS interface in order to ensure that it supports the driving task, rather than distracts from it, and presents information to the driver in a reliable, accurate, and easy-to-understand way.
A fundamental obstacle to ensuring that the full benefits of ITS are realized is that technological advances are increasing at a much faster pace