David McNamara, president of MTS, on driver distraction and the gamut of HMI design options available to mitigate it.
In this video  from the Consumer Telematics Show 2014, David McNamara, president of MTS consultancy, speaks with TU’s Robert Gray about driver distraction in the context of advances in voice recognition, multimodal interaction, large in-car displays, advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS), self-driving cars and driver workload management.
There is a school of thought that believes voice will dominate how drivers interact with connected vehicles of tomorrow. But, according to McNamara, it will take more than voice to control what are becoming increasingly complex machines.
McNamara sees voice as best suited for things like dialing and complex data entry. But he envisions different modes of interaction to control other tasks, either alone or in combination with each other. For example, he would like to see gesture controls combined with touchscreen technology to make seat adjustments.
Moving on, he predicts that in-car displays will keep getting bigger. He believes that ADAS features, such as adaptive cruise control, lane keeping and cross-traffic detection, will become increasingly common and that self-driving cars will ultimately result.
But to earn people’s trust, self-driving cars will need to pass what he calls the “30-second rule.” “You have to build trust in a car within 30 seconds,” he says. “I found that with voice, I found that with a lot of features I have developed in my career. If the consumer can’t get it in 30 seconds and feel you are … meeting their needs and doing it in a responsible way, all bets are off.”
Product simplification is also an important strategy to consider when it comes to the connected vehicle. But, ultimately, it will not be workable, McNamara says. “In a lot of areas, we do product simplification,” he says. “But, in today’s world, I don’t think that fits. I think it’s more personalization, the ability to get software platforms that allow you to do exactly what the customer wants.”
He concludes by explaining why he finds driver workload management "really exciting."
Robert Gray is a regular contributor to Telematics Update.
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