Effect of background scene complexity and field dependence on the legibility of head-up displays for automotive applications

N. J. Ward, A. Parkes, P. R. Crone

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

18 Citations (Scopus)


This study examined the legibility of information presented on head-up displays (HUDs) for automotive application as a function of background scene complexity, the position of the HUD within field of view relative to the background scene, and the perceptual capacity of the perceiver. Groups of field-dependent and field-independent subjects viewed video footage from the perspective of following a lead car on an open road with low, moderate, and high scene complexity. Subjects were required to track the lead vehicle and identify HUD-presented targets of a specified orientation and specified changes in a HUD-presented speedometer. The results indicate that (a) HUD legibility deteriorated with increased visual complexity of the background scene; (b) positioning the HUD on the roadway reduced the effect of background scene complexity on HUD legibility; and (c) field-dependent subjects made fewer correct and more false positive target identifications than did field-independent subjects.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)735-745
Number of pages11
JournalHuman Factors
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 1995


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Behavioral Neuroscience
  • Psychology(all)
  • Applied Psychology
  • Human Factors and Ergonomics

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