Traffic jam pilot app saves drivers wasted time

Award-winning Scania-VW development allows drivers to remain productive in cab

Traffic jam pilot app saves drivers wasted time
Drivers said to have the same traffic awareness as in normal driving


A Scania and Volkswagen Group Research app that allows drivers to multitask when trapped in traffic jams has won a human-machine interface innovation award in Germany.

The award was presented at the recent CAR HMi concepts and systems congress 2014 in Berlin.

"When faced with a traffic jam situation, the driver can with this concept attend to other matters on his or her tablet," Scania says.

"While keeping abreast of the surrounding traffic and without having to look up from the screen, the driver can, for example, answer emails, follow up deliveries or browse a news site."

The traffic jam pilot has been one of several projects in a joint Scania-Volkswagen Group research program that also includes safety systems for lane keeping and lane changing. In the traffic jam application, several independent surveillance and monitoring systems keep track of the surrounding traffic and of vulnerable road users.

While the driver in this concept uses the time spent in traffic jams for more productive tasks, he or she can simultaneously on the tablet screen monitor traffic movements.

On the edges of the tablet’s display, the driver is made aware of vehicles alongside and the speed and distance to the vehicle ahead.

If the speed picks up and exceeds 50 km/h, the view on the table switches to a warning, alerting the driver to resume control of the vehicle.

"We have thoroughly tested this concept with drivers and found that the situational awareness is equal, in other words drivers had the same traffic awareness as in normal driving," Daniel Ricknäs, interaction designer at Scania Research and Development, says.

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