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Exploring the Evolution of Interactions in Car Infotainment Systems

Coursework Assignment

These coursework assignments are designed to enable you to become more deeply engaged with specific aspects of ID and HCI and to investigate a selected area in depth. The focus of your submitted work should be on user issues, design principles for interactive user experiences and effective interaction design.

In coursework assignment, you are asked to investigate a particular interactive technology, that of the interface between a car driver and the car, particularly the infotainment system. You should produce an essay with an exploration of past, current and future human/car interfaces. You should attempt to identify the interaction techniques that you believe are essential for effective and usable interactions with a car whilst driving, and you should critically evaluate interaction techniques that are not particularly appropriate. ?

The interfaces between a driver and a car have been evolving rapidly from the familiar and similar functions, designs and interaction in use since the 1920s. Recent innovations have included supplementing car driving aids and infotainment systems with services based on smart phones. The use of smart phones in cars, however, is not permitted in many countries as it is considered too distracting. Many cars are now connected to the Internet so drivers have access to a variety of services via the built in functions.

Write an essay presenting the elements explored in the bullet points below, and draw your own conclusions about the appropriateness and safety aspects of the increasing complexity and interaction techniques now being used in cars. Try to find specific examples of systems being used in recent and current car models to help support your arguments.

•Explore the evolution of interactions used in cars over the last 100 years to drive the car, to select functions such as adjusting mirrors, opening windows and selecting lights, and to use the entertainment systems.

•Explore the recent evolution of in-car infotainment systems and driver aids, and the evolution of the interactions employed to use these in-car systems. In particular, compare and contrast the interactions between the in-car systems and similar systems on a smart phone.

•Propose three usability principles that could be used to explore if the trend in infotainment system design and interactions is appropriate for use in cars and what the safety implications of these systems might be.

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