The study began as MIT scientists wanted to find out if a typeface style can really reduce driver distraction. Nowadays we work with all kinds of devices in our day to day life. Each of these has its own interface. In the field of industrial design this graphical user interface is often referred to as human-machine interface.
Vehicle safety was put to a test. If there is no distraction drivers can easily keep eyes on the road. Because of its design, typeface posed to be quicker to read in vehicle displays while driving.
The study followed eye movements in people driving. Specially mounted cameras recorded how much time a driver’s eyes moved and where. 42 people from ages 26 to 75 took part in the study. The average glance time demonstrated that when a humanist style was used a person’s glance time was in average 0.6 seconds less than when using a square grotesque style. This means it takes 12% longer to get back and look on the road if a car’s HMI uses a square grotesque font. This is a real breakthrough in terms of vehicle safety!