In-car Speech Systems for Older Adults: Can They Help and Does the Voice Matter?

Dr Mary Zajicek
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The technology for in-car speech systems linked to Global Positioning Systems (GPS) to warn of upcoming hazards is available but under utilised by older people. This paper describes experiments carried out using a driving simulator with older adults to explore whether the use of voice messages can improve driving performance and safety, and whether the qualities of the voice in the message can influence older drivers attitude and might be a factor in their uptake.
The experiments showed that the presence of a young voice warning of upcoming hazards and properties of the road does improve driving, and that older people showed a clear preference for a younger voice over an older one.

Keywords: Speech systems, Older adults, In-car information systems, Usability testing, Driving performance, Driving simulator
Stream: Human Technologies and Useability
Presentation Type: Paper Presentation in English
Paper: In-car Speech Systems for Older Adults

Dr Mary Zajicek

Principal Lecturer, Department of Computing, Oxford Brookes University

Dr Mary Zajicek is leader of the Speech Project in the Department of Computing, Oxford Brookes University, Oxford, UK where she researches speech systems, including memory support systems, for older adults. She also develops and teaches courses on the Human-Computer Interface. She has published widely on interface design methodologies for older adults including the use of interface design patterns, and has published her own speech dialogue design patterns for older adults. She won the British Computer Society IT Award for Innovation and a Microsoft MSAA Award for BrookesTalk a Web browser for blind and visually impaired people. Under an award from ONCE the Spanish Association for the Blind, BrookesTalk has also been translated into Spanish. Recent work covers in-car speech systems for older adults with Toyota Information Technology Centre, Palo Alto and Stanford University, and work on memory jogging system for older adults which enable them to live independently for longer.

Ref: T06P0091