nissan-885309_960_720Human machine interfaces are used in a wide variety of setting and applications, ranging from retail stores and manufacturing factories to homes and even consumer automobiles. In fact, they are becoming increasingly more common in cars and trucks, as automakers use HMIs to provide more features for drivers. Honda, Toyota, Mazda and Ford are just a few of the major automakers that are using HMIs to enhance their vehicles while subsequently reaching a larger audience.

According to a recent study, the touch-enabled HMI market is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 26% through 2020. So, what’s contributing to the phenomenal growth of the HMI market? One of the factors contributing to the growth of the HMI market is the use of human machine interfaces in cars, trucks and other automobiles.

Some people assume that HMIs are only used in manufacturing facilities and other commercial settings, but this isn’t necessarily true. The term “human machine interface” can be used to describe any interface that allows a human operator to control a machine. Therefore, a touchscreen-enabled in-car dashboard is essentially an HMI. Other types of HMIs may include direct manipulation interface, graphical user interface, web-based user interface, command line interface, hardware interface, attentive user interface, batch interface, conversational interface agent, crossing-based interface, gesture interface, intelligent user interface, motion tracking interface, multi-screen interface, non-command interface and object-oriented user interface.

There are several benefits associated with the use of HMIs in cars, one of which is increased user satisfaction. Numerous studies have shown that users prefer touchscreen interfaces over mechanical interfaces. Instead of turning a knob to adjust the heating or air inside the cabin of your car, for instance, you could simply press a digital button on a touchscreen-enabled HMI. Touchscreen interfaces such as this could be used to control several different functions, such as the radio, turn-by-turn directions, Bluetooth, seat adjustments and more.

HMIs can also introduce new features in cars. The touchscreen interface, for instance, could be used to playback movies and videos. This makes it particularly beneficial for families who take long road trips, as kids could watch a movie on the HMI.

What are your thoughts on the use of HMIs in automobiles?