Tag Archives: media

New York Times article discusses our work on in-vehicle navigation devices

Last week I was interviewed by Randall Stross for an article that appeared in the September 2 edition of the New York Times. Mr. Stross’ article, “When GPS Confuses, You May Be to Blame,” discusses research on in-vehicle personal navigation devices, including our work on comparing voice-only instructions to map+voice instructions [1].

Specifically, Mr. Stross reports on a driving simulator study published at AutomotiveUI 2009, in which we found that drivers spent significantly more time looking at the road ahead when navigation instructions were provided using a voice-only interface than in the case when both voice instructions and a map were available. In fact, with voice-only instructions drivers spent about 4 seconds more every minute looking at the road ahead. Furthermore, we found evidence that this difference in the time spent looking at the road ahead also had an effect on driving performance measures. These results led us to conclude that voice-only instructions might be safer to use than voice+map instructions. However, the majority of our participants preferred having a map in addition to the voice instructions.

This latter finding was the impetus for a follow-on study in which we explored projecting navigation instructions onto the real world scene (using augmented reality) [2]. We found that augmented reality navigation aids allow for excellent visual attention to the road ahead and excellent driving performance.


[1] Andrew L. Kun, Tim Paek, Zeljko Medenica, Nemanja Memarovic, Oskar Palinko, “Glancing at Personal Navigation Devices Can Affect Driving: Experimental Results and Design Implications,” Automotive UI 2009

[2] Zeljko Medenica, Andrew L. Kun, Tim Paek, Oskar Palinko, “Augmented Reality vs. Street Views: A Driving Simulator Study Comparing Two Emerging Navigation Aids,” MobileHCI 2011

Project54 on front page of New York Times

In a front page article of the March 11, 2010 edition of the New York Times Matt Richtel discusses in-vehicle electronic devices used by first responders. Based on a number of interviews, including one with me, Matt gets the point across that interactions with in-vehicle devices can distract first responders from the primary task for any driver: driving. The personal accounts from first responders are certainly gripping. Thanks Matt for bringing this issue to the public.

Enter Project54. According to Matt “[r]esearchers are working to reduce the risk.” He goes on to describe UNH’s Project54 system which allows officers to issue voice commands in order to interact with in-car electronic devices. This means officers can keep their eyes on the road and their hands on the wheel. The article includes praise for the Project54 system by Captain John G. LeLacheur of the New Hampshire State Police. The Project54 system was developed in partnership with the NHSP and almost every NHSP cruiser has the Project54 system installed.

Both the print and the online versions of the article begin with a picture of the Project54 in-car system. This great picture was taken by Sheryl Senter and it shows Sergeant Tom Dronsfield of the Lee, NH Police Department in action.