Usability of Car Dashboard Displays for Elder Drivers
October 25, 2012
The elder population is rising worldwide; in the US, no longer being able to drive is a significant marker of loss of independence. One of the approaches to helping elders drive more safely is to investigate the use of automotive user interface technology, and specifically, to explore the instrument panel (IP) display design to help attract and manage attention and make information easier to interpret. In this paper, we explore the premise that dashboard displays can be better designed to support elder drivers, their information needs, and their cognitive capabilities. We conducted a study to understand which display design features are critically linked to issues of divided attention and driving performance. We found that contrast of size and reduced clutter are instrumental in enhancing driving performance, particularly for the elder population. Surprisingly, our results showed that color elements have a negative effect on driving performance for elders, while color elements and fills slightly improve performance. We conclude with design implications generated from this work.