How it works
Most (vehicle) navigation systems are based on turn-by-turn navigation. The user selects a destination and the system calculates a route. Navigation systems inform the user whether to turn left, right take a roundabout or other navigation instructions. These systems provide information using a screen and voice assistance. In our system, the user receives navigation cues using gentle vibrations in the driving seat. Distinctive, intuitive patterns are pre-set as navigation instructions.
Tactiele Navigatie uitgelegd door brandweerman Richard Lubben voor de Jan van der Heydenprijs 2017
When a first responder drives to an emergency situation with high priority, he experiences high mental workload; driving at high speed, through red lights, while communicating with colleagues and the emergency room and follow navigation instructions. Research by TNO (Dutch knowledge institute) has revealed that tactile navigation supporting visual navigation results in faster reaction time and lower mental effort. Besides that, there is no decrease in performance when the mental workload increases. That is why we chose to add the tactile sense to the navigation system of first responders.
The vibration cues reduce the driver’s need to look at a visual display. Especially when he is accustomed to the system, he will trust the signals without falling back on the visual representation. The driver can keep his eyes and ears focused on the road. This improves safety.
For and with professionals
The tactile navigation prototype was successfully tested in the Netherlands in collaboration with the ambulance regions of the Axira platform during the first quarter of 2016. In total, 19 ambulance drivers participated in a field test with the tactile navigation seat. Out of these, 18 provided positive feedback and confirmed the added value of the tactile navigation system.
At the Driver’s Day of Safety Region Twente in April 2017 very positive feedback was received from 20 fire engine drivers completing a route solely by tactile navigation, as voice and visual signals were switched off.
Safety Region Groningen has decided to purchase the first five Sentaz tactile navigation systems, following a successful pilot which proved that drivers experienced more rest while driving and that navigating instructions were perceived intuitively. In September 2017 five Officer of Duty vehicles have been equipped with Sentaz tactile navigation and are now in operation!
As a consequence of high market interest, Sentaz is currently planning additional user tests and pilot projects with police, ambulance and firefighters.