Interactive displays are becoming an integrated part of the modern vehicle environment. Their use typically entails dedicating a considerable amount of attention and undertaking a pointing gesture to select an interface item/icon displayed on a touchscreen. This can have serious safety implications for the driver. The pointing gesture can also be highly perturbed due to the road and driving conditions, resulting in erroneous selections. In this paper, we propose a probabilistic intent prediction approach that facilitates establishing the targeted icon on the interface early in the pointing gesture. It employs a 3D vision sensory device to continuously track the pointing hand/finger in conjunction with suitable Bayesian prediction algorithms. The introduced technique can significantly reduce the pointing task completion time, the necessary associated visual, cognitive and movement efforts as well as enhance the selection accuracy. The substantial furnished gains and the pointing gesture characteristics are demonstrated using data collected in an instrumented vehicle.
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