Car HMI Driving Simulator Test

Method/Process: Usability Test

Liam Miao 5 min. read

Business Question

One global leading car manufacturer had developed a new user interface for the cars to be launched in 2030. The new in-car system consisted of different parts including the central display, head-up display, multi-functional steering wheel and another new display. The whole in-car system offered a wide variety of features and information.

This study aimed to see whether the drivers could use the in-car system safely in both standing and driving situation and how they perceived the new layout of display. It also focused on whether the distribution of features and information was reasonable for drivers.


80+ drivers who use their in-car systems quite often joined the one-on-one session. Half of them regularly used head-up display as well.

Each session lasted for 3 hours and included a simulated drive. Before completing the tasks in driving situation, participants all had a familiarization drive to get used to the simulator.

For each task, the moderator recorded the path, operation fingers, whether lane deviation happened and gave the moderator rating in the end.

After each section, participants were asked to stop the car and had a wrap-up for each part of the system.


The study shows while the new system was perceived quite innovative at the beginning, participant might encounter difficulty in using the system. Drivers needed to switch their attention constantly between the display and the steering wheel, which often caused strong lane deviation in driving situation.

As a wrap up of the whole project, 20+ participants were selected to join the group discussion at the end of fieldwork to share their mutual expectation of the car system, especially how the information could be relocated and simplified to reduce distraction.

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