The underrated role of HMI in ADAS and autonomous vehicles

The recent Autonomous Vehicle interior design symposium held in Novi, gave me some new insights into the important and often under-rated role that HMI plays in the acceptance of ADAS and autonomous vehicle technology.

Why HMI is important – “People universally dislike unpredictability and ambiguity” - #Chris Rockwell / Lextant. To trust the system – people always need to know how the vehicle will behave in a given situation and near future. The HMI system has to communicate this intuitively at all times, else we will get stressed and stop using the technology. In addition, we need to be able to take control if needed – without having to fight the machine (Example: Lane Keeping Assist #Kristin Kolodge / J.D.Power). How to build trust between the human and machine is a fertile research topic.

HMI seems often as an afterthought – “let’s finish all the important engineering validations and then provide the key interactions to the HMI team” – who often come towards the end of the program with what’s left of the budget. It is the similar mindset with which user and service manuals are finished (often the same engineering team).

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