Standard provides design recommendations for automotive hand controls

ISO 12214:2010, "Road vehicles – Direction-of-motion stereotypes for automotive hand controls", gives recommendations for the operating motions of hand controls in motor vehicles and a method of verifying whether they meet driver expectations or 'stereotypes'.

As a general rule, the orientation and motion of the hand control should correspond to the orientation and motion of the controlled element. In the case of powered mirror controls, for example, direction labels 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 sub-committee that developed the new standard, 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," Shutko noted. "The standard will improve the ease of use with which the driver can recognise and use the motion of the controls, especially when the car is moving."

ISO 12214:2010 is intended for designers, manufacturers, and suppliers of hand controls for passenger cars, multipurpose and commercial vehicles and buses. This second edition cancels and replaces the first edition, ISO 12214:2002.

The new standard 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, including the British Standards Institution or the ISO Central Secretariat.

Tom Shelley

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