HUMANIST: HUMAN centered design for Information Society Technologies

An ACM TechNews article pointed me to AIDE (Adaptive Integrated Driver-vehicle InterfacE), a European initiative to integrate information and communication technology into cars to improve safety. America’s version of this program is the Vehicle Infrastructure Integration (VII) initiative, which is part of the Intelligent Transportation Systems program of the Department of Transportation. (My research on Vehicle Safety Communication technologies falls within the VII’s domain).

The European AIDE site has a link to a most fascinating program called HUMANIST: HUMAN centered design for Information Society Technologies:

The development of the new technologies of information and communication is going, in the coming years, to transform deeply the uses and the practices in transport.

But if the current developments, in the field of road telematics and driver assistance systems, can constitute a real opportunity of help for the mobility and a real improvement of the road safety, they raise nevertheless, for ergonomists, numerous questions about their acceptability by drivers and about possible modifications of behaviour or attitudes.

The humans factors competencies exist in Europe but are scattered. To obtain effective results, it is necessary to integrate the research capacities in Europe.

The aim of the Network of Excellence HUMANIST is to federate the researches in the domain of user/system interactions and their applications on road telematics and driver assistance systems and to create a European Virtual Centre of Excellence on HUMAN centred design for Information Society Technologies applied to road transport.

The goals of HUMANIST seem to blend two of my current research threads: values in design & the privacy implications of VSC technologies. The American programs related to road telematics would benefit from such an organized and purposeful concern for ensuring their design supports human values.

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