Optimal Secondary Controls Using a Configurable Haptic Interface

Principal Investigator(s):

William Durfee, Professor, Mechanical Engineering

Project summary:

Secondary controls are proliferating in automobiles as more and more electronic features are added for communication and navigation. The use of configurable, adaptable control knobs with haptic (touch) and aural feedback properties optimized to the driver and to the task may enable safe operation of a variety of secondary control functions with minimum distraction to the driver. In this project, the researchers are developing and testing new technology for configurable, manual controls with computer-controlled haptic and aural feedback properties. Controls will be tested in tabletop and driving-simulation experiments with human subjects to determine if optimal control properties can indeed benefit drivers. A future goal is to adapt this technology to drivers with motor, sensory, or cognitive disabilities. A second set of experiments will determine optimal properties of haptic interfaces for selection and setting tasks.


Project details:

  • Project number: 2003034
  • Start date: 01/2003
  • Project status: Completed
  • Research area: Transportation Safety and Traffic Flow
  • Topics: Intelligent vehicles, Safety