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Escaping ‘Death by GPS': Foundations for Adaptive Navigation Assistance

Research project Navigation services offer an anywhere, anytime experience of knowing where you are and where you need to go. No wonder they are highly popular. But their use also leads to various kinds of incidents, and most often leave users clueless about how they ended up at their destination. These issues are so prevalent that a new term has been coined ‘Death by GPS'. Sadly, for some users this has to be understood very literally.

So far there has only been very little research on how the negative effects of navigation system use may be countered. Navigation services' adaptive potential has been completely disregarded: in the interaction triangle of user, environment and service, the service has been ignored so far.

Head of project

Kai-Florian Richter
Associate professor

Project overview

Project period:

2019-07-01 2022-12-31


The Swedish Research Council.

Participating departments and units at Umeå University

Department of Computing Science

Research area

Computing science

Project description

This 4-year project will provide crucial foundations for adaptive navigation assistance. It will investigate the adaptive power of navigation services to improve their safety, reliability, ease of use, and their support of spatial knowledge acquisition. It will use an analytical approach that combines reasoning and spatial analysis methods to calculate differences in importance and complexity of locations along a route, whereas importance and complexity will be grounded in findings in cognitive science. The differences will be reflected in adaptive instructions that will also express the likelihood of matching users’ understanding of the situation. Research will be iterative, combining theoretical analysis, prototype implementations, and empirical human-subject studies.

Latest update: 2022-11-16