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Evaluating AR in transportation:

A dialogue between researchers and practitioners

Tuesday, September 19th 2023*
*Event moved to an off-site discussion






Get ready for a shift in driving! Augmented Reality Head-up Displays (AR HUDs) are set to redefine our on-road experience, filling our view with dynamic, engaging, and potentially distracting information. However, we're lacking effective ways to evaluate these new interfaces, leaving us in uncharted waters. Extant methods for evaluating the effectiveness of computer-based user interfaces are arguably not rich enough to capture the total effects of AR HUD interfaces on human performance, in part because they presume a visual field where there is visual separation between the primary (driving) and secondary (AR HUD) task demands. Without new methods, researchers and practitioners are left to base user interface design and assessment on current understanding of traditional in-vehicle information systems.

As we start fielding, and designing for new AR HUD displays, we must also develop our understanding of AR HUD effects on driver distraction. In a design space that affords fundamentally different user experiences, we must pose the question: “When AR HUD user interfaces are visually integrated into the primary task space, what are the most effective methods to evaluate their impact on driver performance, ensuring the safety of this technology?"

With swift and decisive action, we can create and circulate modern assessment methods tailored specifically for AR HUD interfaces, with the primary objective of minimizing distraction. If we neglect to expedite this process, it could lead to the emergence of distracting AR HUD designs, which might result in property damage, loss of life, and the introduction of reactionary transportation policies (as was seen with cell phone use in automobiles). Therefore, it is imperative that we proactively address these issues to ensure that the evolution of AR HUD designs is both safe and efficient.

Why do we need a dialogue between researchers and practitioners? 

Both in the realms of research and application, numerous challenges persist in the application of appropriate methodologies to assess the comprehensive impact of AR HUDs on distraction, and thus safety.


Academic researchers acknowledge the inherent attributes and characteristics of AR that could potentially affect its safe incorporation in vehicles. However, translating these academic findings into practical applications is a nuanced and complex task. Simultaneously, industry practitioners, despite actively developing and deploying AR HMI in vehicles, continue to grapple with the same evaluation hurdles to ensure safe AR interfaces.

There is a compelling need for researchers and practitioners to collaborate, fostering a deeper understanding of the best practices and challenges involved in designing and assessing AR HUD interfaces with safety as the priority.

This workshop represents a crucial step where researchers and practitioners can openly share their insights, experiences, best practices, and obstacles encountered during the design & evaluation process of AR HUD interfaces. 


This workshop strives to achieve three primary objectives:

  • Highlight the distinctive features of augmented reality, emphasize the significance of human factors in assessing AR safety from a research standpoint, and advocate for innovative evaluation metrics;

  • Examine current practices in evaluating AR effectiveness, and identify challenges from a practitioner standpoint; 

  • Engage researchers and practitioners invested in this domain to collaboratively identify a series of evaluation challenges for the next 3-5 years and beyond, and establish a strategic roadmap to address these challenges. 

United Nations Working Party on General Safety Provisions 

We are excited to introduce to the AutoUI community and engage in this workshop's discourse, a group of practitioners from the United Nations Working Party on General Safety Provisions (GRSG), on the topic Field of Vision Assistant. This group is part of the UNECE World Forum for Harmonization of Vehicle Regulations (WP.29) which is dedicated to technical regulations applied to the broad automotive sector, addressing the safety and environmental performance of wheeled vehicles, their subsystems, and parts.

This group's objectives align closely with ours, focusing on tackling issues that ensure safe vehicle operation when utilizing diverse technologies, including AR HUDs. By fostering an open dialogue between practitioners and researchers on how we should evaluate HUDs to ensure safety, we aim to create a strategic roadmap to navigate these challenges effectively. This inclusive and collaborative approach is our strategy to promote safer and more effective AR HUD designs in the future.


Join the conversation!

Are you a researcher or practitioner who is interested in the workshop?


We will be meeting off-site in Audi (5 min walk from the conference venue) on Tuesday, September 19, from 2:00 PM - 4:30 PM

If you want to join, please email me for more details:

Expected outcomes

In addition to the workshop objectives, the following outcomes are also expected:

  • Enhancing Academia's Contribution to Regulatory Improvements: The workshop will facilitate discussions on how academia can effectively provide knowledge and evidence to the UNECE, thereby contributing to the improvement of regulations. 

  • Alignment with Global Regulations and Industry: The workshop will explore opportunities for aligning academia with global regulations in order to better understand the key goals and directions of research. This alignment may lead to new collaborations and funding opportunities, fostering advancements in the field of augmented reality and its compliance with regulatory frameworks.

  • Identification of Additional Areas for Alignment: The workshop will investigate other areas in which a community like AutoUI can align with global regulations and industry within the UNECE. By identifying these areas, the workshop aims to broaden its scope and facilitate collaboration on diverse topics related to augmented reality and human-computer interaction.

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