HMI: The Hi-Tech Lifesaver in Road Accidents
Sticking to the previous blogpost dealing with the risks of driving and the components of a car crash, we will have a closer look to HMI. It may be THE high-tech lifesaver in road accidents.
The problem of road accidents is becoming graver as each day passes. Automotive manufacturers have been brainstorming long and hard in order to find a solution to the road safety issue. Their efforts have borne fruit and we are now looking at the Humane-Machine Interface (HMI), which is touted as the best in high-tech life saving technology. Let’s delve into the details.
Causes of Road Accidents and How HMI Can Help:
A problem well defined is half solved. So let’s first get into the root causes of these accidents before we decide what a good remedial measure should look like. All the causes that we know and have heard of can be divided into three factors, which albeit obvious, need greater understanding to arrive at solutions:
- Human element: This essentially means the driver. A large number of accidents happen because the driver loses control of the vehicle. It could be due to negligence, substance abuse, fatigue or a combination of such reasons (read more about the reasons in the previous blogpost). Since human beings cannot be controlled, it is obvious that we need to make the machine element strong enough to avert the accident, even in cases of human error. The simple principle is to reduce dependency on what cannot be controlled.
- Machine element: The second factor is the vehicle that you may be driving. We all know of accidents where vehicles malfunctioned, like a failed brake or the steering not navigating as intended.
While looking at this problem we need to understand that brakes do not fail overnight. Failure is generally because of wear and tear. Therefore, it really is a problem of communication. If the machine could communicate to the user that it was in need of repair or maintenance, the driver would not have ignored it and a large number of accidents could have been avoided.
- Infrastructure: We have all heard about roundabouts and blind turns that are notorious for accidents. Here again, communication is the major issue. Our eyes cannot see beyond a certain range but satellites can and they can give us real time feedback about the state of affairs, based on which we can modify our driving and avoid accidents.
HMI’s inbuilt communication systems reduce dependence on human judgement and build automobiles that are smart enough to prioritize and personalize relevant information for the driver. Based on this information, the driver can modify his subsequent driving inputs.
Can these problems be solved with HMI? What do you think?
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2nd International Conference Automotive Cockpit HMI
Don’t miss the “2nd International Conference Automotive Cockpit HMI”, taking place 28-30 September 2011 at the Maritim Rhein-Main Hotel Darmstadt, Germany.