No fumbling at the steering wheel thanks to new ISO standard

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When you're driving a rented or new car for the first time, one of the last things you want is having to fumble with the hand controls that operate locks, windows, windshield wipers and so on. An updated ISO standard provides  solutions by giving design recommendations for hand controls that "make sense" for drivers.

As a general rule, in order to create the strongest stereotype, the orientation and motion of the hand control should correspond to the orientation and motion of the controlled element. Take, for instance, powered mirror controls. Direction labels shown on the four-way pad control and arrows on the joystick control indicate stereotypes for moving the mirror field of view up, down, left or right.

According to John Shutko, Chair of the subcommittee that developed the new standard, the direction-of-motion stereotypes can have an important impact on the driver's behaviour and usabilty.

"Failure to conform to direction-of-motion stereotypes can lead to actuation errors, longer operating times and an increase in driver workload. The standard will improve the ease of use with which the driver can recognize and use the motion of the controls, especially when the car is moving

ISO 12214:2010 will be used by designers, manufacturers, and suppliers of hand controls found in passenger, multipurpose and commercial vehicles and buses.

This second edition cancels and replaces the first edition (ISO 12214:2002).

ISO 12214:2010, Road vehicles – Direction-of-motion stereotypes for automotive hand controls, was developed by ISO technical committee ISO/TC 22, Road vehicles, SC 13, Ergonomics applicable to road vehicles, and is available from ISO national member institutes (see the complete list with contact details). It may also be obtained directly from the ISO Central Secretariat, price 66 Swiss francs, through the ISO Store or by contacting the Marketing, Communication and Information department (see right-hand column).

Elizabeth Gasiorowski-Denis
Elizabeth Gasiorowski-Denis

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