The Neglected Passenger—How Collaboration in the Car Fosters Driving Experience and Safety

  • Alexander MeschtscherjakovEmail author
  • Nicole Perterer
  • Sandra Trösterer
  • Alina Krischkowsky
  • Manfred Tscheligi
Part of the Human–Computer Interaction Series book series (HCIS)


When designing interfaces for a vehicle, the focus often lies on the driver. Since the driver always has a primary task (i.e., maneuvering the vehicle safely), interfaces for secondary tasks (e.g., entertainment systems) are designed to reduce distraction threats to a minimum. However, it is not always only the driver who is interacting with the vehicle; passengers also interact with the car. They may support the driver in the primary task (e.g., by providing navigation information) or take over secondary tasks (e.g., operating the climate control) in order to unburden the driver. Thus, we see a need for interfaces that foster the communication and collaboration between the driver and passengers but also among passengers themselves. Currently, such interfaces are usually neglected in automotive user interface research. Over the last years, we have conducted several studies focusing on communication and collaboration between drivers and passengers inside cars. Following an experience-centered approach, we started with ethnographically informed studies to gain a deeper knowledge on how drivers and passengers interact with each other inside a vehicle. Based on these insights we conceptualized and designed several prototypes that enabled collaboration between drivers and passengers. These prototypes were then studied in different studies both in a simulator setup, as well as, in real-traffic situations. In this chapter, we describe five of these research activities in more detail and present implications for designing interaction approaches that foster collaboration in the vehicle.


Collaboration Communication Ethnography Simulator Real-world study Experience Co-driver Passenger 



The financial support by the Austrian Federal Ministry of Science, Research and Economy and the National Foundation for Research, Technology, and Development and AUDIO MOBIL Elektronik GmbH is gratefully acknowledged (Christian Doppler Laboratory for “Contextual Interfaces”).


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alexander Meschtscherjakov
    • 1
    Email author
  • Nicole Perterer
    • 1
  • Sandra Trösterer
    • 1
  • Alina Krischkowsky
    • 1
  • Manfred Tscheligi
    • 1
  1. 1.Christian Doppler Laboratory “Contextual Interfaces”, Center for Human-Computer InteractionUniversity of SalzburgSalzburgAustria

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