Optimized HMI Development in the Automotive Industry

Today, innovations in the automotive domain are usually found in the areas of electronics and/ or electrical engineering. Humans need user interfaces to use these innovations. Despite the increasing number of requirements, shorter product development cycles, and higher quality requirements, it must be ensured that the quality of these interaction interfaces remains high.

The goal of the project automotiveHMI is to optimize the development processes for user interfaces. This is achieved by first eliciting the current status of these processes and using this baseline for describing a future reference HMI development process. This reference process is an integrated approach based on standardized languages, models, and interfaces for all companies involved, from the automobile manufacturer via the supplier to the tool manufacturer.

Fraunhofer IESE as an independent partner ensures that the different interests are taken into account appropriately and that new, multimedia and multimodal forms of interaction of novel operating systems are also considered. One major issue is integrated development, if possible without any breaks in medium. This is achieved through the use of a modeling language that allows integrated, interdisciplinary, model-driven development. In this project, Fraunhofer IESE is in charge of requirements elicitation, development of the reference process, and definition of the HMI data model. Supportive work is also being done in the areas of HMI modeling language, model-based testing of HMI components, and change management.

During the first phase of the project, the analysis phase, Fraunhofer IESE was deeply involved in the development of a catalog of questions for systematically eliciting current processes as well as involved roles, tools, and interfaces among the partners. This catalog of questions was first sent electronically to all partners to allow them to prepare; later, all important information was elicited during an on-site workshop and ambiguous issues were clarified. The elicited information was analyzed, packaged individually, and sent to the partners for review and internal approval. Finally, an anonymized document summarizing the comprehensive results of the entire analysis phase was created.

The methodological procedure used here ensures that the quality of the elicited information is high, which made it possible to use this document to define an abstract HMI reference development process to which OEMs and suppliers as well as tool manufacturers can relate and which will now serve as a basis for further activities in the project.

Central goals during the second phase of the project on the part of Fraunhofer IESE are the definition and development of a data model, the reduction of the complexity of HMI development processes, and the determination of the elements to be developed by the modeling language. On the basis of the reference process developed during the first phase, Fraunhofer IESE is currently defining the objects to be managed in the HMI tool chain and is specifying their attributes and relationships. In addition, representative, data-specific use cases are being derived for the data model to be developed before concrete development of this model takes place, which will serve as input for the modeling language created during the further course of the project.