Ku, K. and Tschirhart, M., "A Comparison of Three Different Approaches to Image Depth in Driver Information Clusters: 2D Computer Graphics, 3D Computer Graphics and 3D Imaging," SAE Technical Paper 2014-01-0451, 2014, doi:10.4271/2014-01-0451.
Displays that support complex graphics in driver information (DI) systems allow for the presentation of detailed visual data by employing a range of static (fixed image) and/or dynamic (moving image) design approaches. Such displays are gaining market share across a wide range of mainstream vehicles as the availability and cost of such technologies improves.Although a range of 2D, rendered 3D, and 3D imaging (or stereoscopic) information displays have been demonstrated throughout the automotive industry in recent years, there is limited empirical research examining consumer preference of the respective approaches or their influence on driving related tasks.The vehicle environment is known to be a demanding context for efficiently displaying information to the driver. Research in 3D [1, 2] reveals some of the factors that influence its acceptance and effective use, but there is limited research on the effects of 3D-related design elements when used in a driver-vehicle interface. The purpose of this research is to improve our understanding of these display approaches on consumer preference and driving-related task performance.Participants in these studies completed a set of driver-vehicle tasks that involved a text-based item search in a custom-designed interface that employed 2D, rendered 3D and stereoscopic 3D imaging in both static and simulated driving conditions.Analysis of the results of the two studies reveals developmental and procedural benefits from the use of realtime rendered 3D graphics in a driver information display.The specific type of 3D imaging examined in this study was autostereoscopic (or “glasses-free”) 3D. Sentiment toward these effects varied considerably, with participants divided between strongly liking, or strongly disliking, this particular display approach.The results of this study suggest that real-time rendering enabled by modern graphical processing units (and associated software tools) represents an important step forward in providing more effective graphics in driver information displays.