New Paper Explores Why We Should Train Drivers Using Cars with Autonomous Features


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

Contact: Kate Jacobson, Human Factors and Ergonomic Society

Phone: 312-673-5462

Email: kjacobson@hfes.org

New Paper Explores Why We Should Train Drivers Using Cars with Autonomous Features

Newswise — WASHINGTON D.C. – March 2019 – A new paper, “What Do We Tell the Drivers? Toward Minimum Driver Training standards for Partially Automated Cars,” recently published by the Journal of Cognitive Engineering and Decision Making is questioning whether drivers using vehicles with autonomous features should be trained before they get behind the wheel. Stephen M. Casner of NASA and Edwin L. Hutchins of the University of California San Diego say despite autonomous car systems being designed to respond to conflicts, without proper human training crashes could still occur.

Casner says this issue is increasingly relevant as more and more vehicles are being equipped with autonomous features such as lane keeping and automatic braking. By providing no standard training for drivers on these machines, automakers are handing average drivers complex pieces of equipment and hoping for the best.

Currently, there has been little coordinated attempt to train drivers of vehicles with autonomous features about how the systems work or how they affect driver behavior. “The current strategy seems to be to place additional pages in the operator’s manual and hope drivers will pull it out of the glovebox and carefully read it,” Casner said. Casner and Hutchins argue that, while autonomous-feature vehicles will reduce common crash scenarios, the lack of educated drivers could lead to a slew of other types of accidents.

To demonstrate their point, they turned to the advent of autopilot in airplanes. Decades ago when automation was first deployed in airplane cockpits, there was little front end training for pilots on how these systems worked. This led to new kinds of crashes, and ultimately pushed the industry to increase the training offered for these systems. And not just training on how it works, but how humans respond to it and the general concept of a human-automation team.

The paper explores how what we learned nearly 50 years ago in planes could foreshadow what will happen if we don’t start educating autonomous-feature vehicle drivers how their machines work.

The paper will appear in print in the Journal of Cognitive Engineering and Decision Making in June, and is available online now. For more information about the paper, please contact Human Factors and Ergonomics Society Publications Manager Kate Jacobson at kjacobson@hfes.org.

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The Human Factors and Ergonomics Society is the largest multidisciplinary professional organization for human factors/ergonomics professionals in the world. It 4,500 members share a common interest in designing systems, tools, consumer products, and equipment to be safe and effective for the people who operate and maintain them.

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