Title: Drivers' preferences and emotional responses to satellite navigation voices

Authors: David R. Large; Gary E. Burnett

Addresses: Human Factors Research Group, Faculty of Engineering, University of Nottingham, Nottingham, NG7 2RD, UK ' Human Factors Research Group, Faculty of Engineering, University of Nottingham, Nottingham, NG7 2RD, UK

Abstract: Auditory experiences in vehicles are shaped not only by engine and road noise, but also by the technology used by drivers. The ubiquitous satellite navigation system (satnav) is an easily accessible and widely used device which produces realistic vocal utterances during driving. A desktop study investigated subjects' responses to satnav voices. Fifty participants rated 36 typical messages provided by 12 different satnav voices using seven-point Likert-style scales. Participants readily assigned human personality-type traits to the voices and indicated different preferences for everyday and one-off use. Strong positive correlations existed between ratings for the trustworthiness, assertiveness, and clarity of a voice and the likelihood of that voice being selected for use everyday. Conversely, strong negative correlations existed between the annoyance and distraction of voices and everyday use. These relationships existed despite the fact that message content and delivery remained equivalent across all voices. Conclusions are drawn regarding the implications for design.

Keywords: sound; emotional responses; personality traits; driver preferences; satellite navigation voices; satnav voices; human factors; trustworthiness; assertiveness; voice clarity; annoyance; distraction.

DOI: 10.1504/IJVNV.2013.053815

International Journal of Vehicle Noise and Vibration, 2013 Vol.9 No.1/2, pp.28 - 46

Available online: 10 May 2013 *

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