Interacting with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay when driving: The effect on driver performance

Ramnath, R., Kinnear, N., Chowdhury, S., & Hyatt, T.
IAM RoadSmart

The purpose of this study was to examine the impact of mobile-based infotainment systems on driving performance. The study was comprised of two experiments, one using Android Auto (n=20) and the other using Apple CarPlay (n=20). Participants completed three drives on the same simulated test route. A control drive, where they did not interact with any system; a voice-enabled drive, where they interacted with the system using voice control only; and, a touch enabled drive, where they interacted with the system using touch control only. The driving route was divided into three sections for a total of ten miles: (1) 2.4 miles car following, which included two music-related tasks (i.e., Spotify and BBC radio); (2) 5.6 miles erratic motorway traffic, which involved two navigation tasks to a railway station and petrol station; and, (3) 2.0 miles figure eight loop, which involved reading text messages and making a phone call.

Results show that participants significantly reduced their average speeds while performing the music and navigation tasks using the touch feature in both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Additionally, Android Auto participants had a significant reduction in average speeds while performing the texting and calling tasks using voice and touch features. Large variations in lane positioning occurred during the touch drive compared to the control drive. Furthermore, participants underestimated the time they thought they spent looking away from the road during the touch drives with both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. For both systems, participants reported better driving performance during the control drive compared to the touch and voice conditions. Participants reported that the touch drive was more difficult and distracting than the voice drive for both music and navigation tasks.

Reference

Ramnath, R., Kinnear, N., Chowdhury, S., & Hyatt, T. (2020). Interacting with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay when driving: The effect on driver performance.