A Semcon project. Part of AIMMIT research as a Master thesis at Chalmers University of Technology.
in 3 min


Design and development of a strategic navigation interface concept for semi-autonomous vehicles.

Navigation in self-driving cars

In the next 5-10 years, cars will be able to drive autonomously on certain roads.

This will allow drivers to have more free time in the car, but will still require them to take over driving in some situations. Keeping drivers informed about their journey and situation, might give them higher level control of their trip and allow them to be better prepared to take over.

As part of the AIMMIT project, we have developed a prototype to understand how navigation systems should work in these settings.

Information needs for navigation

We found out that certain types of information are more interesting in the context of the semi-autonomus vehicle. The information needs varies depending on the purpose of the trip. GhostNav aims at delivering these information needs at the right time in the right context.

Destination information Route conditions Scenery and context Time information Environmental and monetary impact Self-Driving availability Picking up a friend Going shopping Going home Information importance

The concept

Quick glance of the future

How do we keep drivers informed and in the loop about their situation?

Provide an understanding of where the car will go and what is coming up ahead. By swiping up and down on the remote you can create a ghost car to preview how the future of the trip will progress and to prepare for events that will arise up ahead. You can see how long it will be before you will be at that place in time..

A strategic view and fast switch of destinations

How can drivers stay in control of their journey without interrupting their other tasks?

The interface provides an at-a-glance strategic view of the trip. You can see the possible destinations that you can go to represented as placemarks. Preview a new destination by swiping left or right. You can use this to compare the time it would take to get to the destination. You can also see how much manual driving that would be required to get here. You can preview the route that the car would take if you were to go there. Confirm a new destination by pressing and holding.

Take actions for future events in the trip

Deviant road conditions are shown as placemarks on the route. The driver can choose to take action on these conditions by zooming in to the location and make his decision by swiping left or right. It gives the possibility to avoid congestion or construction to have a faster or more comfortable trip to your destnation.

User study

A GhostNav prototype was evaluated with 22 participants in a simulated semi-autonomous car in the city of Gothenburg, Sweden. The system was evaluated on two routes and compared to another market leading map based navigation system. Comparison results show much higher preference for GhostNav in the context of a semi-autonomous vehicle.

Read the publication