Design of instrument cluster for automobiles

This report was carried out as a part of the project OPTIVe (Optimized System Integration for Safe Interaction in Vehicles). OPTIVe’s function is to examine, evaluate and show methods and technical solutions for reliable, efficient and cost effective integration of HMI systems in cars. This is a cooperative project between Volvo Car Corporation and Luleå University of Technology among others, who were also the assigners for this project.

OPTIVe has executed surveys in United states of america and Sweden regarding which information instruments the driver wants displayed in the automobile and on which display. The objective was to put together the solutions with regards to the instrument cluster and examine which information instruments needs to be put in which display. The outcomes would be diverse design concepts ideal for Sweden and USA and if possible a concept ideal for both countries.

The outcome of the survey, when both countries were kept in mind, was that the users wanted to have the warning symbols Low oil pressure, Low fuel level, Parking brake engaged, High motor temperature, Charging system failure, and ABS failure shown in the instrument cluster. The driver instruments preferred were Speedometer, Fuel level and Motor temperature level indicator and no In-vehicle technology instruments. This lead to that 4 different concepts were developed which are ideal for both countries. The initial 2 concepts had a simple and clean design that has been further developed into 2 new concepts with more decorations. When you compare the countries and the genders, instruments and warning symbols that will vary is the Tachometer, Low tire pressure and Engine in need of service.

Assessing the 4 ideas in the eye-track result in discussions about changes and enhancements which could be made and also, to a set of questions handling the speedometer. The new questionnaire was carried out because it was discovered that the pointer of the speedometer in all 4 concepts was a new idea in this context and the question was whether it attracted the drivers or not, if the common speedometer was widely used, or if a combination of the 2 was going to please. The speedometer questionnaire confirmed that the idea itself was good but that a combo between the standard and modern speedometer was most liked. The combination speedometer will therefore be utilized in all the concepts.

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