The explosive growth of in-vehicle telematic devices has brought with it a safety concern since there is the potential for distraction of the driver away from the driving task. To address this concern the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers (Alliance) formed a work group of experts from the auto industry, government and other stakeholders (ITSA, SAE, CEA, AAA, NSC, TMA and others) and tasked them with developing a “best practices” document to address essential safety aspects of driver interactions with future information and communication systems. This effort, which has been ongoing for 6 years, has produced 3 iterations of the document “Statement of Principles, Criteria and Verification Procedures on Driver Interactions with Advanced In-Vehicle Information and Communication Systems.” These Guidelines address the design, use and installation of information and communication systems with the goal of minimizing driver distraction associated with their use. The publication of the Guidelines has been followed by a letter of commitment from the Alliance members to design all their production vehicles to these Guidelines within specific designated timeframes.
The Working Group has made a commitment to harness and apply state-of-the-art scientific understanding to the continuing evolution of its Driver Focus Guidelines. In that effort the group has benefited from work in Europe, Japan and the U.S. sponsored by both the private and public sectors. The purpose of this paper is to explore the extensive ongoing relevant research in the area of driver distraction and workload management and show how it has been utilized in the latest iteration of the Guidelines. The intent is that the Guidelines can be utilized to design telematic systems that stretch the envelope for systems that enhance the safety of drivers consistent with the state-of-the-art knowledge with regard to minimizing the potential for driver distraction.