All of this makes it easier for the system to determine whether to provide voice commands to help the driver get into the correct lane when off-ramps or other changes are pending. This can be extremely helpful on multi-lane highways, especially when traffic makes it difficult to change lanes. When the system knows the vehicle is not in the right lane for an upcoming exit, voice and display screen instructions can be provided earlier. If the vehicle is in the right spot, voice prompts may be more subtle to reduce driver distraction or annoyance.
Driver distraction is also a concern that helps determine what can be shown on today’s large, high-resolution screens. While system designers can provide far more information and draw visually-striking 3D maps, there’s a danger of confusing or distracting drivers.
State-of-the-art maps combine satellite images, photos of buildings and terrain information, to name a few inputs. This can be helpful at times; realistic images can help drivers make the connection between navigation data and the real world. However, rich imagery can also be distracting, making it harder for drivers to determine where they need to go.
OEMs are taking different stances on display imagery. The look and feel of center-stack displays is as important as the visual appearance of the display cluster. This is prompting automakers to be very specific about how they want navigation data to be displayed. Though the database used by different carmakers may be identical, the visuals drivers see may be totally different.
Some systems now display important prompts on the instrument cluster. It’s quicker to glance down at the cluster than to look over at the center stack, so using the cluster makes