A user-centred approach in developing preventive safety systems
Anders Opperud, Ann-Sofi Karlsson, Paul Piamonte
Volvo Technology Corporation, Sweden
2005 Annual Meeting of Human Factors and Ergonomics Society Europe Chapter, Centro Ricerche Fiat (CRF), Turin, Italy
26 - 28 October 2005
Many books have been written concerning the importance of user centered product development, but reality is often far from theory. This is a presentation of another story where the customers and users got the opportunity to review future automotive safety applications and communicate their opinions and demands to the engineers. The product development is a part of PReVENT, an Integrated Project co-funded by the European automotive industry and the European Commission. The goal of the preventive safety applications is to help drivers avoid or mitigate accidents through the use of in-vehicle systems which sense the nature and significance of the danger. Focus group interviews where carried out with truck drivers and owners to collect feedback on functionality, interface and acceptance in order to gather knowledge on how they would like to have it. The results showed an awareness of the need for safety applications and that user acceptance depends on the reliability of the applications and the drivers feeling of control of the vehicle. Next step is a user test of the safety application prototypes to continue the user feedback throughout the product development.