Head-up displays vs. head-down displays for vehicle navigation with implemented driving distractions

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Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Title

Proceedings of the 2020 IISE Annual Conference

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Drivers are tasked with several attentional demands when going from one place to another. They are required to pay attention to the road and avoid distractions in order to prevent accidents. A common task that requires drivers to look away from the road is when attending to a navigation display. This study compares head-up displays (HUD) with the conventional screen displays called head-down displays (HDD) to see which display is more suited to the attention limitations of drivers. A 2 x 2 x 2 Random Complete Block Design was used with two types of displays (HUD and HDD), two task types (in person or through a phone) and two distraction levels (low and high). Data analysis of 30 participants using a driving simulator revealed that HUD and a low distraction level had less lane deviation, accidents, missed questions, missed turns, speed limit violations, road mistakes, number of looks off screen, and time looking away from the screen amongst the 8 combinations. In general, indications from all of the significant results pointed to HUD allowing for superior driving performance when compared to a HDD in the driving scenario for this study.


Distracted driving, Focused attention, Navigation display design, Visual attention


Industrial and Systems Engineering