4 min

How NNG’s 6 Human-Machine Interface Principles Deliver Enhanced Driver Safety

Discover how our innovative IVI solutions are grounded in design principles that put clarity and safety front and center.


11 Oct, 2023

While NNG is committed to providing innovative features coupled with outstanding technology, what matters to us most is ensuring drivers can instinctively understand our IVI (In-Vehicle Infotainment) feedback and alerts while on the move. It’s why our products already adhere to the Human-Machine Interface (HMI) principles that were recently highlighted by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety.

This organization is committed to saving lives by preventing car crashes as well as reducing injuries when a crash does occur – an ethos that NNG believes should drive any auto project whether you are designing the external look of a vehicle or creating its IVI. Here is how our own HMI-centric approach ensures drivers experience one of the most clear and safe IVI designs available on the market today:

1. Continuous updating

We ensure our displays always provide drivers with live, rolling status information whether it’s about upcoming turns or the need to change lanes. Importantly, we use visual cues such as icons wherever possible to keep the driver informed so they never need to squint at text-based messages. The only time we deploy short-form text is to support symbols or icons that the driver may not be familiar with.


2. Complementary alerts

To aid in driver updating, we deploy sound to complement the visual information offered by our IVIs, instead of presenting the driver with an additional layer of visual or text-based info that risks creating a distraction. To help the driver further, voice guidance can be given for every stage of an upcoming maneuver. For example:

• ‘Drive’ sentences are read out when the next maneuver is far away.

• ‘Preparation’ sentences are delivered when the next maneuver is within two minutes.

• ‘Approach’ sentences are given when the next maneuver is within half a minute.

• ‘Now’ sentences are read out when the user carries out the maneuver or the location of the maneuver is visible.

• ‘Then’ sentences are given when the second next maneuver is very close to the next one.

The driver can also choose from several voice types to deliver these announcements. Crucially, unlike natural voices, our Text-to-Speech voices can read out any text including street names. Such powerful functionality underlines the principal design ethos at the heart of our IVI technology: We want drivers to keep their eyes on the road as much as possible, especially during time-critical situations.


3. Simple operation

We ensure the layout of our system statuses – such as connected services including weather, parking, EV range and more – are grouped together and presented onscreen consistently and intelligibly. This enables the driver to check any basic information in a moment – without the danger of distraction.


4. Clear warnings

If the IVI needs to present high-priority information such as a warning alert about an approaching danger (i.e., the risk of braking too late while approaching the rear of another vehicle), any update is shown as close as possible to the driver’s line of sight so they can react immediately and safely. Crucially, the intensity of our warning alert systems always reflects the urgency of a situation by moving along a scale from visual to auditory to try and avoid startling the driver.


5. Signposted updates

To avoid driver confusion, our IVIs offer clear and precise visuals to explain why certain vehicle systems have been triggered. Augmented reality visualization can also be deployed, allowing the display of real-time data via a heads-up display. Projected information can include road-level weather, upcoming hazards, or turn-by-turn instructions in areas of poor visibility.

6. Increased awareness

Our IVIs offer the support that drivers need to make decisions and give responses while on the move, providing them with instant feedback on any actions they take. We believe driver decision-making and responses should always be supported in this way to help increase situational awareness and reduce risk.


Staying connected

By adopting key Human-Machine Interface principles, NNG ensures that, as the world’s roads become ever busier, drivers have access to systems that give them critical information precisely when they need it, supporting them at every stage of their journey. Importantly, as EVs and automated driving become prevalent over the years ahead, our well-established HMI design principles put us in the best possible position to adapt to any emerging IVI challenges. Our ultimate goal? To keep drivers – and the road users around them – as safe as possible, no matter where the road takes them.

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