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Chair for Computer Aided Medical Procedures & Augmented Reality
Lehrstuhl für Informatikanwendungen in der Medizin & Augmented Reality

M. Tönnis
Towards Automotive Augmented Reality
Dissertation (PhD thesis), Fakultät für Informatik, Technische Universität München, 2008 (online version available here) (bib)

Projection of virtual presentation schemes into the reality via Augmented Reality (AR) has the potential to equip novel driver assistance systems with more intuitive user interfaces. Information presentation through AR reduces the number of glances towards in-car displays, thus enabling higher degrees of attention towards the environmental events. Spatial relationships between objects in the car’s environment can directly be indicated through AR without enforcing the user to switch between different frames of reference. This thesis examines issues which arise when such assistance systems with AR are developed.

The common development process of such assistance systems in driving simulators is analyzed and facilitated with new solutions, which partly incorporate AR technology. A fixed-base driving simulator is extended to serve as a rapid prototyping environment for a broad spectrum of in-car systems. To analyze spatial relationships of the surrounding of the car, a subsystem for context analysis and reasoning on spatial sensor data is implemented and incorporated with the rapid prototyping environment. An additional system enables creation of realistic traffic scenarios in virtual environments using a tracked miniature car.

This thesis also develops new approaches for AR presentation schemes and evaluates them in usability studies. An AR presentation scheme showing the physical behavior of the own car minimizes the need for last second collision warnings. For time-critical collision alerts, an AR system guides the attention of a car driver towards imminent dangers. The evaluations of the concepts indicate, among other things, that the application of AR reduces reaction times and that mental workload is not increased.

The thesis concludes with another system enabling the examination of AR schemes in real environments. The system also enables porting of AR assistance systems to real cars when Heap-Up Display and sensor technology are able to provide the demanded needs.

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