vw microsleep

In 2007 already, VW developed a prototype system to combat driver’s "microsleep" (Photo: VW)

Further improvements are needed in the way drivers control the growing array of infotainment and safety features in the car, Frost & Sullivan said in a recent analysis.

The researchers said cars' so-called human machine interface (HMI) will increasingly integrate the controls of various functions into a single system. This will help reduce complexity and deal more effectively with driver distraction.

"The main aim here is to prioritize information and reduce driver workload," the market researchers said in a press release.

Frost said innovative HMI solutions shouldn't just be offered as options in the lower and medium segments. Said Frost & Sullivan research analyst Krishna Jayaraman: "To maximize on growth potential, it will be necessary to offer innovative HMI across all automotive segments as a standard feature."

Regardless of what new controls will be introduced, the HMI market is set to grow strongly in coming years.

Frost & Sullivan said the number of cars in Europe that are equipped with basic voice interface will rise to 16 million by 2017 from 3.4 million in 2010. Cars with advanced voice interface will rise to 6.9 million from 1.6 million. And cars with multifunctional knobs will increase to 1.2 million by 2017 from 700,000 in 2010.

In North America, meanwhile, Frost & Sullivan predicts that 13.6 million cars will have basic voice interfaces by 2017, up from 3.3 million in 2010. Cars with advanced voice interface will grow to 6.8 million from 1.4 million. And those with multifunctional knobs are set to increase to 900,000 from 600,000 in 2010.

To make information more easily digestible, it should also be presented in the best possible way. Said Jayaraman: ""Information has to be split among different vehicle displays and the input channels have to be ergonomically positioned."

-Arjen Bongard