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Exploring the usability of a connected autonomous vehicle human machine interface designed for older adults

Morgan, Phillip L.; Voinescu, Alexandra; Alford, Chris; Caleb-Solly, Praminda


Phillip L. Morgan

Alexandra Voinescu


Neville Stanton


Users of Level 4–5 connected autonomous vehicles (CAVs) should not need to intervene with the dynamic driving task or monitor the driving environment, as the system will handle all driving functions. CAV human-machine interface (HMI) dashboards for such CAVs should therefore offer features to support user situation awareness (SA) and provide additional functionality that would not be practical within non-autonomous vehicles. Though, the exact features and functions, as well as their usability, might differ depending on factors such as user needs and context of use. The current paper presents findings from a simulator trial conducted to test the usability of a prototype CAV HMI designed for older adults and/or individuals with sensory and/or physical impairments: populations that will benefit enormously from the mobility afforded by CAVs. The HMI was developed to suit needs and requirements of this demographic based upon an extensive review of HMI and HCI principles focused on accessibility, usability and functionality [1, 2], as well as studies with target users. Thirty-one 50-88-year-olds (M 67.52, three 50–59) participated in the study. They experienced four seven-minute simulated journeys, involving inner and outer urban settings with mixed speed-limits and were encouraged to explore the HMI during journeys and interact with features, including a real-time map display, vehicle status, emergency stop, and arrival time. Measures were taken pre-, during- and post- journeys. Key was the System Usability Scale [3] and measures of SA, task load, and trust in computers and automation. As predicted, SA decreased with journey experience and although cognitive load did not, there were consistent negative correlations. System usability was also related to trust in technology but not trust in automation or attitudes towards computers. Overall, the findings are important for those designing, developing and testing CAV HMIs for older adults and individuals with sensory and/or physical impairments.


Morgan, P. L., Voinescu, A., Alford, C., & Caleb-Solly, P. (2019). Exploring the usability of a connected autonomous vehicle human machine interface designed for older adults. Advances in Intelligent Systems and Computing, 786, 591-603.

Journal Article Type Conference Paper
Acceptance Date Dec 12, 2017
Online Publication Date Jun 28, 2018
Publication Date Jan 1, 2019
Journal Advances in Intelligent Systems and Computing
Publisher Springer Verlag
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 786
Pages 591-603
Series Title Advances in Intelligent Systems and Computing
Keywords connected autonomous vehicle, human machine interface, older adults, usability, situation awareness, workload
Public URL
Publisher URL


Morgan_Phillip_773.pdf (541 Kb)


Copyright Statement
This is a post-peer-review, pre-copyedit version of an article published in Advances in Intelligent Systems and Computing. The final authenticated version is available online at:

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