Eye-tracking, the next wave in HMI design?

November 03, 2014 // By Christoph Hammerschmidt
Voice recognition and gesture control might look like yesterday's technologies if automotive supplier Visteon succeeds with its concept of an automotive cockpit where certain functions can be controlled through eye movement and head direction. Hidden eye-tracking cameras capture this data to deliver an advanced human-machine interaction (HMI).

The HMeye concept has received interest from auto manufacturers as well as users, Visteon says. Prior to the final build of the concept, Visteon presented an early version to consumers at a research clinic, where 81 percent of respondents felt that the system was easy to operate and 78 percent found it enjoyable to use.

The objective of the HMeye cockpit concept was to develop an HMI control solution that enabled drivers to keep their hands on the wheel, potentially mitigating distraction. Vehicle controls such as radio, cabin temperature and navigation all can be operated through the drivers' eyes.

“The eye gaze feature and steering wheel controls provide fast response time,” said Paul Morris, innovation manager at Visteon. The manager believes that the concept has the potential to improve safety by minimizing the driver’s eye movement away from the road and keeping his or her hands on the wheel.

“Advancements in camera technology, along with size reduction, have allowed the automotive industry to incorporate camera capabilities for in-vehicle applications at a reasonable cost,” Morris added. “This system showcases technologies that may lead the movement toward autonomous driving.”

A video of the HMeye cockpit concept is available on youtube/8D6spLLJYPw.

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