Reducing the drivers’ cognitive burden

The increase in emerging technologies within the car means that the driver has to interpret and act on data from several systems simultaneously. The dashboard and centre console displays information to the driver in multiple formats, all of which demand attention and adds to the drivers’ cognitive load.

PhD research into the impact of real-life driving has been undertaken to establish the areas within the car that contribute to increased cognitive load. After establishing the areas that influence the cognitive load the driver experiences it is then possible to improve that through design. The design process will be followed upon establishment of the contributory factors to ensure the most effect solution is realised.

Project aims

The project aims were to investigate:

  • What contributes to cognitive demands presented to the driver from the in-car system
  • The cognitive load and processing speed of the in-car information that is presented to the driver
  • The use design to reduce the cognitive loading on the driver

Project findings and impact

The impact of this research is important because reducing the cognitive burden of the driver could reduce incidents on the road caused by human error. Effective human consideration, design and engineering may be able to control internal factors that may contribute to the drivers’ cognitive load.

The findings for this project are awaiting publication.