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Design of a Vibro-tactile Warning System in an Automobile Application (Mechanical Project)

In-vehicle warning systems are today mainly using the visual and auditory channels for presentation. As cars get more and more sophisticated the demand on new ways of presenting information increases. This report investigates if the sense of touch, in form of a vibro-tactile seat is a prospective channel for warning information.

To achieve the objectives the tactile seat was developed, implemented and tested in a simulator environment. The final result is a complete tactile seat with a set of warnings which correspond with different critical situations.

The tactile seat made it possible to conduct a simulator-based experiment including comparison with a visual head-up warning presentation. The experiment proved significant difference in discovery distance in the comparison between the no system and the tactile warning system.

The overall conclusion is that a vibro-tactile warning display in the driver’s seat is an excellent way of presenting certain warning information. The tactile channel is especially favorable when fast reaction time is essential. Further work could include designing and testing a combined tactile and visual system.
Source: Linköping University
Author: Wennerholm, Karl | Rosengren, Peter

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