The project is focused on reshaping and redesigning the interaction between users and vehicles. The main aim here is to achieve a positive user and customer experience through the development of innovative interior concepts in combination with well-balanced ride characteristics (e.g., lane changing behavior, strength and timing of braking maneuvers, directional stability, acceleration intensity, speed in bends, etc.).
With fully automated driving, the driver is increasingly taking on the role of a passenger. This results in changes to user behavior and the requirements in regard to interior design (HMI, controls, seat/sitting position, etc.). An important requirement is the transition from highly automated driving phases to less highly automated ones to manual driving phases, all of which must be safely manageable in a user-friendly way. Only a tight coordination between the interior design (HMI, controls, seat/sitting position) and appropriate ride characteristics leads to a positive user experience and safe take-over transitions for fully automated driving functions.
By taking an interdisciplinary approach across vehicle segments, it is possible to draw up a set of common requirements for the vehicle interior and solution spaces. This kind of level of abstraction ensures design issues can be considered almost in isolation, i.e., independent of the vehicle type, and furthermore allows the concepts to be applied to related design issues/questions.
The RUMBA research project has five primary objectives:
Achieving a positive user and customer experience through the development of innovative interior concepts in combination with well-balanced ride characteristics
Development and evaluation of user condition monitoring for judging the readiness of the user to take over control of the vehicle and for assessing ride comfort and motion sickness
Development of concepts for new vehicle interiors for passenger cars and commercial vehicles
Development of alternative controls for driving the vehicle
Derivation of driving dynamics measures for the purpose of increasing comfort, and use of these measures as a feedback channel for automation
In line with the user-centered development process, the researchers intend to already discuss the early concept versions with users and experts before building labor- and cost-intensive prototypes. In an iterative process in WP4, the researchers will build the various prototypes and demonstrators and make them available for subsequent evaluation in WP5. Depending on the particular aspects being investigated, the researchers will use, for example, paper prototypes, virtual reality (VR), mockups, simulators, and real vehicles to turn the concepts into demonstrators that users can experience. The purpose of the iterations is optimization of the user experience, particularly in terms of ergonomics, sense of space, ambience, ride comfort, occupant comfort, wellbeing, quality of the control take-over experience, efficiency, and users’ confidence in the system.
The user condition monitoring system (WP6) will be developed in parallel with the vehicle interior and ride characteristics. The monitoring system is an important component in enabling vehicle control transitions and provides a measuring method for assessing occupant comfort and the driver’s capacity to take over control of the vehicle.
Work package 1
Ascertaining the overall requirements and user requirements
Work package 4
Concept realization and system integration
Work package 2
Development of new vehicle interior concepts
Work package 5
Evaluation of the concepts in terms of driving safety and user experience
Work package 3
Developing concepts for ride characteristics
Work package 6
Development of a user condition monitoring system