Interacting with the Steering Wheel: Potential Reductions in Driver Distraction

  • Sebastian Osswald
  • Alexander Meschtscherjakov
  • David Wilfinger
  • Manfred Tscheligi
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 7040)


Driving a car has become a challenge for many people despite the fact that evermore technology is built into vehicles in order to support the driver. Above all, the increasing number of in-vehicle information systems (IVIS) is a main source of driver distraction. The fragmentation of IVIS elements in the cockpit increases the attention demand and cognitive load of the driver. In this paper, we present an approach to integrate most in-car interaction possibilities into a steering wheel, by combining a multi-button row with a single touch in an intelligent steering wheel. We performed an online study (N=301) to investigate the pre-prototype user acceptance of the three different steering wheel modalities (single touch, multi button, combi touch) as well as a lab-based driving simulator study (N=10) to assess the practicability of the single touch interaction. The results of the online study showed that especially the single touch was highly accepted by the participants. The driving simulator study revealed that touch-based interaction on a steering wheel is feasible for low demand tasks in terms of driver distraction. Especially, the single touch embedded into the steering wheel is a promising approach for ambient information in the automotive context.


automotive user interfaces touch interaction steering wheel driver distraction acceptance user studies 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sebastian Osswald
    • 1
  • Alexander Meschtscherjakov
    • 1
  • David Wilfinger
    • 1
  • Manfred Tscheligi
    • 1
  1. 1.Christian Doppler Laboratory ”Contextual Interfaces”, ICT&S CenterUniversity of SalzburgSalzburgAustria

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