A user study of auditory, head-up and multi-modal displays in vehicles

  • Published: Applied ergonomics, 46, 2015
  • Authors: Jakus, G., Dicke, C., & Sodnik, J.
  • Date Added: 28 Mar 2015
  • Last Update: 28 Mar 2015
  • Format: html


This paper describes a user study on the interaction with an in-vehicle information system (IVIS). The motivation for conducting this research was to investigate the subjectively and objectively measured impact of using a single- or multi-modal IVIS while driving.


A hierarchical, list-based menu was presented using a windshield projection (head-up display), auditory display and a combination of both interfaces. The users were asked to navigate a vehicle in a driving simulator and simultaneously perform a set of tasks of varying complexity.

A total of 30 test subjects (9 female and 21 male) participated in the study. The subjects ranged in age from 21 to 56 years old (M = 28.9 years, SD = 3.5 years). All the participants had a valid driving license and an average of 11 years of driving experience. All the participants reported normal or corrected-to-normal sight and hearing.

Key Findings:

  • The experiment showed that the interaction with visual and audio-visual head-up displays is faster and more efficient than with the audio-only display. All the interfaces had a similar impact on the overall driving performance.

  • There was no significant difference between the visual only and audio-visual displays in terms of their efficiency and safety; however, the majority of test subjects clearly preferred to use the multi-modal interface while driving.