I Can’t Hear You? Drivers Interacting with Male or Female Voices in Native or Non-native Language

  • Ing-Marie Jonsson
  • Nils Dahlbäck
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 6767)


Many vehicles today are equipped with navigation systems, and all of these systems use speech or a combination of speech and graphics to provide drivers with directions to their destinations. This study investigates the effect of gender of voice when providing driving instructions in English to drivers that are non-native speakers of English. In a 2(native/non-native) by 2(gender of voice) between participant study, 40 participants in age group 18-25 drove in a driving simulator for 25 minutes with navigation information system that gave drivers directions to a set destination. Results show that gender of voice did not affect native English speaking drivers. For non-native speakers, however, a female voice worked better for both female and male drivers. Non-native speakers consistently missed to act on navigational information give by the male voice. Design implications for voice systems are discussed.


In-vehicle Information System Navigation systems Voices Gender Non-native speakers Driving Performance 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ing-Marie Jonsson
    • 1
  • Nils Dahlbäck
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Computer and Information ScienceLinköping UniversityLinköpingSweden

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