Research Reports

Human factors evaluation of the Volvo Dynaguide and Ford Indikta RBDS-TMC receivers

Principal Investigator:

Max Burrus, Sara Johnson, Stirling Stackhouse

March 1995

Report no. Mn/DOT 1996-03U

Topics: Information Products and Services, Wireless Communication Systems

This report presents the results of a one year comprehensive human factors analysis on the Volvo Dynaguide Mapping system and the Indikta Voice messaging devices supplied by the Minnesota Department of Transportation. RBDS-TMC devices provide a means of transmitting traffic information to motorist using the existing Traffic Management Center's (TMC) resources. This study examined the devices and the means of transmitting information using ergonomic and human factors principles. This study expanded upon the functions of these devices and their ability to transmit information, as well as their integration within the automobile. Further we examined the message assembly software and the resultant messages delivered to the end users. To complete this study we completed a feasibility of on-road study methods, and surveyed the TMC control room staff as to their desires and needs in workplace design and management.

Six tasks were completed with the following findings: Ergonomically, both devices require further refinement to provide a user friendly interface. Linkage analysis and flow charting extracted areas where operation of the device was impeded by design as well as highlighting the many positive features of each device. Simulation study elicited the need for further examination of user preferences and the need to use a wide age-based study group. This was evident in the differing opinions of younger versus older drivers. Assessment of the message assembly program and delivered message content revealed several areas of needed refinement, including beta testing of the outputs of the devices with the message assembly software. Finally, an on-road protocol feasibility study was completed and a workplace assessment was completed at the TMC control room.

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