Development of a Traffic Information System Driver Interface

Gretchen Paelke and Paul Green


Based on ideas from the literature and the project team, several reasonable interface options were prototyped using SuperCard (on a Macintosh computer). Some designs were eliminated after inital prototype attempts because critical details were not legible. Others were developed further and evaluated using human factors computational methods (GOMS, Tullis Display Analysis Program) and quick usability tests.

Five basic designs have been developed. For the designs where simple text displays show incidents and congestion, there are three ways to select the highway of interest: a bidirectional scrolling menu, a graphic of the highways, and a phone-style keypad. The graphic designs use a skeleton map of the metro Detroit highways, and represent traffic problems through color coding or explicit travel speeds.

An experiment was conducted at a motor vehicle licensing office to examine the understandability of and preferences for aspects of the five designs. From this it was determined that using orange to indicate slow moving traffic is ambiguous to drivers. Drivers preferred a color coding scheme which used green to indicate freely moving traffic (at or above speed limit), yellow to indicate slow traffic (30-54 mph), and red for stop and go traffic (0-29 mph). The results of this study were used to modift the interfaces for future testing in a driving simulator

Download IVHS-A-92 (.pdf)


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