Supporting drivers with auditory cues has been shown beneficial, but is also known to reach a certain level of annoyance. To fully understand the benefits of intuitive auditory cues as an HMI element, further research is needed.
This paper investigates the benefits of increasing input to aid in the reduction of hazard risks caused by blind spot using intuitive auditory cues. Intuitive auditory support is a naturalistic sound of an object using volume to indicate the distance of the side object (including blind spot area). The experiment involved twenty participants (2 women, 18 men) between 21 and 24 years of age. The experiment was conducted in a 360-degree view simulator with a car body on a turntable with a six-axis control. Using lane change scenarios, participant-perceived benefits of enhanced awareness of hazards, feelings of increased security, and annoyance caused by intuitive auditory support, were compared to a USNCAP target blind spot warning system (with buzzer), and unsupported as baseline systems. For this, subjective measures (i.e., survey analysis), as well as galvanic skin response data to measure participants’ physiological responses, were used. The results indicate that intuitive auditory cues support enhanced hazard awareness, increase the participants feeling of security, and are perceived to be less annoying for rare drivers compared to blind spot warning, while for frequent drivers a blind sport warning seems to better support these variables.
Our results indicate that auditory support provides a suitable basis for supporting those who drive only rarely in lane change maneuvers (supporting maneuverability, providing a feeling of security, and decreasing annoyance levels compared to BSW). Research thus far shows that auditory support could irritate drivers. However, our results do not confirm this. Intuitive auditory support appears less annoying than existing BSW technology. Furthermore, ASIS seems to decrease drivers’ stress levels compared with no support.
We suggest that personalization could improve blind spot warning systems, by integrating auditory cues for drivers who drive rarely and keeping BSW technology for the remaining groups.