Professional drivers of heavy trucks with trailers often have to perform low speed maneuvers with high precision. This could for example be when loading or unloading the vehicle, docking at loading bays, parking in tight spaces, coupling trailers or changing swap bodies. When using long vehicle combinations, this is a difficult task even for experienced drivers, which becomes both stressful and time consuming.
New functionality that could automate these tricky tasks is under consideration. Time spent on maneuvering could be shortened and safety could be improved when the driver stress level goes down.
Together with Volvo Group Trucks Technology, Viktoria supervises a master thesis with a goal to develop and implement an HMI for the reverse assistance. Investigations on how to best interact with the driver and present information needs to be done. Then the resulting concept should be implemented on a mobile platform.
The specific design of the HMI is to be worked out during the thesis. Many different functions are possible, but a rough idea of the core is that the driver should see the current vehicle position on a map on the screen. Then he may choose a desired goal position and optionally waypoints to pass or draw a rough path on the screen. A feasible path is then planned by the application and transferred to the control computer in the vehicle. The driver will then decide the speed by pressing the throttle or brake pedals. He may also grab the wheel and manually modify the path planned by the computer.