Haptics in reasearch at Daimler AG

Holger Enigk, Uli Foehl and Verena Wagner

The following article provides a brief overview of applied haptics research at Daimler AG. In order to meet the need to impart knowledge to students and do justice to the nature of this textbook greater attention will be paid to the objectives, the research object and methodology instead of reporting detailed results of specific studies. The purpose of this is to illustrate the research methods and enable their application to relevant problems.

Objectives of haptics research at Daimler AG

In many cases it is assumed that driving a vehicle is largely based on visual perception and that the majority of information processed is of a visual nature. However, one must ask whether this human distance sense is not being overestimated for certain areas of driving and what importance the sense of touch, a human close sense, has with regard to driving. In order to drive a vehicle the driver absorbs many different items of information from the environment and from the road via the oscillations and vibrations of his vehicle. He feels the condition of the road and the dynamic response using the seat and steering wheel when driving. At the same time he drives his vehicle using the controls: he moves the steering wheel sensitively, enters route information into the navigation system, regulates the air-conditioning, presses the accelerator and brake with his foot, opens and closes the glove compartment or hatch, etc.