In most current cars, human–machine interfaces (HMI) have limited understanding of the intentions of pedestrians and vehicles in the surroundings. This can lead to pedestrians being exposed to dangers and drivers being presented with distracting warnings. Common adaptive vehicle HMIs implemented in today’s cars have limited sensing and predictive capabilities. Because of this, the risk is high to present information that is unsuitable for the current situation, which results in low usability and increased risk of distracting the driver. Furthermore, the exchange of information between driver and other road users is currently limited which often results in uncertain and unsafe situations. Driving automation only exacerbates the above-mentioned problem. External HMIs are one attempt to address this.
The HEIDI project aims to develop a fluid, cooperative HMI that integrates internal and external adaptive HMI solutions in a holistic manner. This cooperative HMI effectively synchronises driver data and data from other road users to facilitate an optimal joint action between the actors, following the foresight safety1 concept. With this, the HEIDI HMI solutions guarantee that all road users share the same understanding of the situation with a view to ensuring a safe interaction.
To realise this overall aim several technical innovation modules will be developed. These new HMI solutions will be prototyped and validated in a multi-user simulation environment and in real vehicle prototypes. For this purpose, the HEIDI project brings together key industry and academic partners that provide a unique infrastructure for developing, testing, and validating the proposed HMI concepts, such as the co-simulation environment provided by VTI, where pedestrians and drivers can interact in the same experiment in two interconnected simulators, and the facilities provided by RUAS, where real vehicles can interact with real pedestrians in a safe environment. Additionally, the HEIDI project will develop recommendations for regulation and standardisation guidelines to EuroNCAP and to IEEE, especially focusing on external HMIs, as this area is still characterised by high uncertainty for manufacturers.