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ISBN 9783843937511

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978-3-8439-3751-1, Reihe Ergonomie

Philipp Kerschbaum
Design for Automation: The Steering Wheel in Highly Automated Cars

198 Seiten, Dissertation Technische Universität München (2018), Softcover, A4

Zusammenfassung / Abstract

Intensive research and development is currently implemented regarding highly automated driving. Within the range of automation levels, highly automated vehicles may perform lateral and longitudinal guidance only if certain conditions are met. As soon as the vehicle is approaching a system boundary, it requires the driver to take over control.

Based on the prior statements, it becomes apparent that a highly automated vehicle must support three different tasks: the automated driving task, the manual driving task and the corresponding transition task to change between them. However, conventional vehicles today are optimized for manual driving, and so is their driver interface. There is high potential in this context especially regarding the steering wheel. With its common shape and functionality known today, it perfectly allows the execution of the primary, manual driving task. From the automated driving task perspective its design is not entirely fortunate. If automation takes over completely, allowing the driver to engage in non-driving related activities, the steering wheel still obstructs the area and sight right in front of the driver – a valuable interface space.

In this dissertation several research steps are provided in order to systematically tackle this problem. First the three tasks mentioned above will be subject to detailed analysis. Why is the task done? Who are the main actors? What is actually done, and how can we measure the driver’s behavior at these tasks? Based on these thoughts, design goals are derived for the steering wheel. Some are contradictory to each other, some are not. For both groups an individual approach is chosen to develop design paradigms for the steering wheel. The first approach refers to a different shape or functional behavior of the wheel. Secondly, the principle of shape transformation is introduced in order to solve design goal conflicts. All potential aspects are evaluated individually in driving simulator studies, applying a novel method of analyzing the driver’s motoric behavior. In a final step, both design paradigms and methods are brought together for evaluation of an integrated steering wheel system in real driving conditions. Results throughout this thesis show that the design paradigms, especially the shape transformation principle, have great potential to achieve two things: preventing detrimental effects of highly automated driving and tapping its full potential regarding non-driving related tasks.