Investigating HUDs or the Presentation of Choice Lists in Car navigation Systems

It has been established that head-down displays (HDDs), such as those commonly placed in the dashboard of commercial automobiles, can draw drivers' attention away from the primary driving task (Bach et al., 2008). This problem can be exacerbated when screens are 'busy' with graphics or rich information. In this paper, we present the results of a driving simulator- based user study where we examined two potential alternatives to HDDs for presenting textual lists. Subjects conducted a series of street name finding tasks using each of three system variants: one with a HDD, one with a head-up display (HUD), and one with only an auditory display. We found that the auditory display had the least impact on mental load, but at the expense of task completion efficiency. The HUD variant also had a low impact on mental load and scored highest in user satisfaction, and therefore appears to be the most viable target for future study.