Haptic controls in cars for safer driving

Date
2011-06-01
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Abstract
With the spread of latest state of the art technologies geared towards utilization of the human senses, haptic technologies have been introduced as a way of utilising the sense of touch to either solve real world problems or to enhance present experiences. This thesis focuses on using haptic technology in cars to make the driving experience safer. Modern vehicles carry GPS, music systems, sunroofs and a number of other electronic gadgets. Interaction with these devices while driving often takes the driver‘s eyes ―off the road‖ and raises safety concerns. We are proposing a unique haptic design that uses the ‗sense of touch‘ as a mode of controlling or coordinating the various technologies and convenience devices found within a car. A pattern of distinguishable haptic feedback linked to a corresponding device allows the user to operate these devices through ‗sense of touch‘ and eliminates reliance on visual interaction. This design will help to reduce the driver‘s distractions, as it will be installed in an easily accessible location such as on the steering wheel. A simulation has been done using a haptic interface ―i.e. desktop phantom to test the system‖ and a prototype has been developed which can be installed in any vehicle. This prototype has been tested to work with a limited number of convenient devices. However, further development and enhancements can be made to incorporate more devices and other user preferences. The main objective of this research is to integrate various functionalities in a robust manner, which will focus on the driver‘s safety by ensuring ―constant vision on the road‖. Distinguishable distinct haptic responses will act as unique depictions for specific convenient devices within the car, allowing the driver to interact and manipulate the settings of the device based on the detection and identification of the various unique haptic depictions.
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Keywords
Haptic technology, Sense of touch, Haptic feedback
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