Voices in Self-Driving Cars Should be Assertive to More Quickly Grab a Distracted Driver's Attention

Priscilla Wong, Duncan Brumby, Ramesh Babu H Vardhan, K Kobayashi
in The 11th International ACM Conference on Automotive User Interfaces and Interactive Vehicular Applications, Conference paper (text), Utrecht, Netherlands


Automated driving will mean that people can engage in other
activities and an important concern will be how to alert the
driver to critical events that require their intervention. This
study evaluates how various levels of assertiveness of voice
command in a semi-AV and different degrees of immersion
of a non-driving task may affect people's attention on the
road. In a simulated set-up, 20 participants were required
to execute actions on the steering wheel when a voice command
was given while playing a mobile game. Regardless of
how immersed the driver was in the game, a more assertive
voice resulted in faster reaction time to the instructions and
was perceived as more urgent than a less assertive voice. Automotive
systems should use an assertive voice to effectively
grab people's attention. This is effective even when they are
engaged in an immersive secondary task.