Feeling uncertain-effects of a vibrotactile belt that communicates vehicle sensor uncertainty

Matti Krüger, Tom Driessen, Christiane B. Wiebel-Herboth, Joost C.F. de Winter*, Heiko Wersing

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)
45 Downloads (Pure)


With the rise of partially automated cars, drivers are more and more required to judge the degree of responsibility that can be delegated to vehicle assistant systems. This can be supported by utilizing interfaces that intuitively convey real-time reliabilities of system functions such as environment sensing. We designed a vibrotactile interface that communicates spatiotemporal information about surrounding vehicles and encodes a representation of spatial uncertainty in a novel way. We evaluated this interface in a driving simulator experiment with high and low levels of human and machine confidence respectively caused by simulated degraded vehicle sensor precision and limited human visibility range. Thereby we were interested in whether drivers (i) could perceive and understand the vibrotactile encoding of spatial uncertainty, (ii) would subjectively benefit from the encoded information, (iii) would be disturbed in cases of information redundancy, and (iv) would gain objective safety benefits from the encoded information. To measure subjective understanding and benefit, a custom questionnaire, Van der Laan acceptance ratings and NASA TLX scores were used. To measure the objective benefit, we computed the minimum time-to-contact as a measure of safety and gaze distributions as an indicator for attention guidance. Results indicate that participants were able to understand the encoded uncertainty and spatiotemporal information and purposefully utilized it when needed. The tactile interface provided meaningful support despite sensory restrictions. By encoding spatial uncertainties, it successfully extended the operating range of the assistance system.

Original languageEnglish
Article number353
Number of pages24
JournalInformation (Switzerland)
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • Automotive hmi
  • Cooperative driver assistance
  • Human-machine cooperation
  • Reliability display
  • Sensory augmentation
  • Spatiotemporal displays
  • State transparency display
  • Uncertainty encoding


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