Automatic Versus Interactive Vehicle Navigation Aids
David M. Zaidel Transportation Research Institute, Technion, Israel
Y. Ian Noy Transport Canada, Ottawa
In-vehicle navigation and route guidance systems1 are likely to be the most salient products emerging from technological developments within the domain of intelligent transport systems (ITS).
Like other in-vehicle transport information and control systems (TICS), navigation aids introduce auxiliary tasks that require some interaction with the driver. There is some concern among designers and researchers that auxiliary tasks may intrude on the "primary" driving tasks, such as vehicle control and obstacle avoidance ( Noy, 1989) by distracting, confusing, or overloading drivers. Laboratory and simulation studies tend to show some decrement in performance of driving-related functions when drivers are given a concurrent task such as navigation ( Noy, 1990). Although improvements in the ergonomic design of navigation and route guidance systems have been evident in recent demonstrations of new technologies, as yet there is no clear evidence that such systems are contributing to, or detracting from, safe driving ( OECD, 1992).
The very nature of the driving task may change in fundamental ways with the use of different navigation systems. For example, a map display highlighting the recommended route may require drivers to orient themselves in relation to the map as well as to look for conventional street signs. Visual displays of simple route guidance instructions provide little orien-____________________