Exercise One

Icons Indicating Automation Mode Active

Each manufacturer, and the simulators, has icons to indicate that the automation system is active. Most of the participants were able to interpret these icons accurately, but some participants had more unusual opinions: ‘the car is driving correctly within the lane’ (e.g. Table 11.2, Manufacturer A, Icon 1), ‘pavement is irregular, or narrow roads, slow down’. Some participants expressed confusion: ‘unclear’, ‘is car driving itself?’, ‘no idea’. One participant interpreted Manufacturer A, Icon 2 to mean the opposite to that intended: ‘you are holding the steering wheel, feedback to driver that car recognises they are doing as asked’ (Table 11.2, Manufacturer A, Icon 2).

Icons Indicating Manual Mode or Automation Ending/lnactive

All of the manufacturers have icons indicating that the automation is inactive or ending, and the simulator has an icon to indicate manual mode. Some of the more unusual interpretations were ‘indentation in pavement, take care of kerb’, ‘road narrows, slow down’ (e.g. Table 11.2, Manufacturer A, Icon 1), and ‘speed control active’, and some were confused: ‘unclear. Could be anything or nothing’, ‘unsure, maybe AI inactive’. Some participants again made opposing interpretations: ‘don’t use steering wheel’, ‘steering is in auto mode for the rest of the journey’, ‘AI is in control’ (e.g. Table 11.2, Manufacturer C, Icon 2).


There were many comments about the colour of the icons and what the colours meant: Green (e.g. Table 11.2, Manufacturer A, Icon 1) - T like colour coding’ (green meaning active), ‘active as it’s green’, ‘the steering wheel is green which is positive confirmation’, and ‘green resonates as something being active’.

Orange/amber (e.g. Table 11.2, Simulators, Icon 2) - ‘amber resonates as caution/be alert’.

Red (e.g. Table 11.2, Manufacturer C, Icon 2) - ‘could be red to give you a clear on-off indication’ (referring to an icon which greys out when inactive).

Size and Text Labels

The participants were able to see the icons in context within the IVIS, and so were able to determine how large they were. There were several comments regarding size: ‘icon so small on dash’, ‘it’s small’, ‘very small - easily missed’, ‘maybe a bit small’, ‘small, meaning it is unclear’, ‘icon is quite small in cluster’. Those icons that were accompanied with a text label, e.g. Table 11.2, Simulators, Icon 1, were more easily understood than those without, and it was suggested by one participant that text should be added to those icons which were more ambiguous; however, some participants found the text annoying or too long.

Exercise Two

The various interpretations were discussed by the group in detail, and this revealed some opposing views, e.g. Table 11.2, Manufacturer A, Icon 2:

Participant A, T think if my hands were off the wheel and I saw that, it would be very obvious that I need to put my hands on the wheel’.

Participant B, ‘If my hands were on the wheel, I’d take them off the wheel’.

Also, some ambiguity, e.g. Table 11.2, Manufacturer C, Icon 2:

Participant С, T don’t know whether it’s available or not. I wouldn’t be sure if it’s available’.

Participant D, ‘I’m not sure that it’s not available either’.

There were also many discussions regarding the use and meaning of colour. A number of icons used green colouring in the automated mode, while one was blue. Orange and white/grey were used to indicate no automation/manual mode, and one icon used red to indicate the automated mode was ending (see Table 11.2). The participants again had opinions as to what the colours should represent:

Green - ‘Because it’s green, it’s suggesting automated mode’, ‘Green is automated active’, ‘So green means safe’.

Orange/amber - ‘Kind of a standby thing’, ‘Orange so it’s a caution’, ‘warning’, ‘orange means normal’.

Red - ‘not active’, ‘red means unsafe’, ‘and red that was not active’.

Blue - ‘Blue is a big question mark’, ‘Blue suggests hybrid’.

White - ‘Not being green or any colours (e.g. greyed out/white) also suggests to me that it’s not on an automated mode’.

There was also a discussion around standardisation and how this is helpful in aiding understanding. One participant commented, ‘Most things are standardised... like traffic lights. They become standardised... so that everyone ends up having it the same way’.

Exercise Three

The final task was a less structured, open discussion, but raised some of the same concerns as the previous tasks.

The use of colour in icons was still of significance, with participants commenting: ‘consistency of colour across manufacturers is important’ and ‘colour coding should be consistent - stick to red/orange/green. Blue and grey are ambiguous’. With further comments around standardisation: ‘don’t like icons - need to be standardised’ and ‘icons should be standardised’.

ADAS Experience

From the form completed before the study, the lowest score was 2 and the highest was 11. As the maximum possible score was 34, this range of scores indicates that the participants had a low to moderate amount of experience in using ADAS (all scores can be seen in Table 11.1). Those participants with the lowest amount of experience using ADAS were also more likely to interpret the icons incorrectly during both the unguided individual task, and following the extra guidance during the second task, making interpretations such as ‘pavement is irregular’, or ‘narrow roads, slow' down’ for the first task and ‘road narrows, slow down’ in the second task. Equally, those with more ADAS experience were more able to identify the icons correctly, even from the initial unguided task.

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