University of Twente Student Theses


The design of a user-interface for the powertrain of a car in the future, …in order to improve the acceptance of this powertrain

Endeman, Gertjan (2007) The design of a user-interface for the powertrain of a car in the future, …in order to improve the acceptance of this powertrain.

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Abstract:Future powertrain In the project “Car of the Future”, two powertrain alternatives are developed. One is based on hydrogen powered fuel cells. This powertrain probably acts different compared to the powertrains of cars nowadays. Therefore, a user-interface has to be developed for this new powertrain, in order to let the driver understand and accept it. In the new powertrain, the fuel cells produce electricity. Hydrogen is needed for this process. The electricity is used to power electro motors, which drive the wheels. These electro motors can also be used the other way around. When the motors are moved by something else, they generate electricity. This is called regenerative braking. Ultracapacitors are able to temporary assist the fuel cells in generating electricity. The capacitors are charged by the fuel cells or by regenerative braking. An analysis of several car technologies, which were introduced in the past, was used to point out the factors, which could affect the acceptance of the new powertrain. These factors turned out to be for example performance, image and emotion. The factors which could affect the acceptance were applied to the new powertrain to find its qualities and shortcomings. Design considerations When designing a user-interface, many aspects have to be taken into account. First, there is the project “Car of the Future”. In this project the context, in which the car will be used and the system character of the car itself were stated. Second, all kinds of information systems and display technologies are available and added to the interior of the car nowadays. However, it is very important not to overload the driver of the car with too much information. Third, many design guidelines are available for in-vehicle information systems. They include guidelines about specifications of controls and how to present and prioritize information. Fourth, the position is an important aspect when designing user-interfaces for cars. These considerations, together with the obtained qualities and shortcomings, resulted in a list of functions and a list of requirements. Design The design of the user-interface consists of displays and controls. During an extended design process the primary display was developed. This display shows speed and energy consumption. Not all this information is displayed necessarily. The driver can choose whether to display the basic mode or the advanced mode. In basic mode, the speedometer and fuel gauge are displayed, and in advanced mode the energy consumption information is showed as well. The information is displayed very clear and effective, according to the requirements that were a result of the design considerations. The secondary display shows information on demand. This information is not necessary needed during a car drive. Therefore, it can be combined with other information systems like multimedia or traffic information. Evaluation A short evaluation was carried out. To check whether or not all the functions were fulfilled by the designed user-interface. This resulted in a list of recommendations and a final conclusion for the assignment.
Item Type:Essay (Bachelor)
Stichting Natuur en Milieu
Faculty:ET: Engineering Technology
Subject:21 art forms
Programme:Industrial Design BSc (56955)
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