GENDER-RELATED DIFFERENCES IN THE MAP USE OF IN-VEHICLE NAVIGATION SYSTEMS

Y.W. Wakabayashi

Tokyo Metropolitan University, Department of Geography, Tokyo, Japan

wakaba@comp.metro-u.ac.jp

 

Since the 1990s, in-vehicle navigation system (IVNS) has rapidly become pervasive across Japan. Currently, various types of maps are used in Japanese IVNS, such as 2-D or 3-D maps, birds-eye view, diagrams, and satellite images, instead of turn-by-turn displays. In addition, drivers can choose map orientation between north-up and heading-up dividing the display into different types of maps. Such a wide range of mapping styles can be accustomed to the diversity of driving situation and drivers preferences. Nevertheless, little is known about how drivers use these types of maps. The aim of this study is to examine the variations in the map use of IVNS. Specifically, attention is focused on gender-related differences because recent growth of the number of female drivers may diversify the use of IVNS maps. We analyzed data from an Internet questionnaire survey of drivers living in Tokyo Metropolitan Area (n=537). A focus group interview to several drivers was also conducted to get further information on the use of IVNS maps. The results of the analysis revealed that female drivers tend to use landmark information and heading-up display though their preferred styles of maps vary with the driving situation. These can be entirely explained by the findings of the previous studies on gender-related differences of spatial cognition.