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Driver error or designer error: Using the Perceptual Cycle Model to explore the circumstances surrounding the fatal Tesla crash on 7th May 2016

Driver error or designer error: Using the Perceptual Cycle Model to explore the circumstances surrounding the fatal Tesla crash on 7th May 2016
Driver error or designer error: Using the Perceptual Cycle Model to explore the circumstances surrounding the fatal Tesla crash on 7th May 2016
“Human error” is often implicated as a causal factor in accident investigation yet very little is done to understand ‘why’ such errors occur in the first place. This paper uses the principles of Schema Theory and the Perceptual Cycle Model (PCM) to further explore the circumstances surrounding the fatal Tesla crash in May 2016 in which the driver was fatally injured using team-PCM representations. The preliminary National Highway Traffic Safety Administration accident investigation concluded that the driver of the Tesla Model S was at fault. However, the analysis presented in this paper argues that rather than “driver error”, the underlying cause of this tragic incident could be in fact more akin to a “designer error” implicating the design of the Autopilot feature itself. This is in line with the National Transportation Safety Boards more recent announcement that suggests systems design may have contributed to the crash. It would therefore appear that the drivers expectation of system functionality may not have matched the real life capabilities of the system. This is likely to be a product of inappropriate mental models relating to system function.
driving automation, human error, mental models, perceptual cycle model, schema theory
0925-7535
Banks, Victoria A.
0dbdcad0-c654-4b87-a804-6a7548d0196d
Plant, Katherine
3638555a-f2ca-4539-962c-422686518a78
Stanton, Neville A.
351a44ab-09a0-422a-a738-01df1fe0fadd
Banks, Victoria A.
0dbdcad0-c654-4b87-a804-6a7548d0196d
Plant, Katherine
3638555a-f2ca-4539-962c-422686518a78
Stanton, Neville A.
351a44ab-09a0-422a-a738-01df1fe0fadd

Banks, Victoria A., Plant, Katherine and Stanton, Neville A. (2017) Driver error or designer error: Using the Perceptual Cycle Model to explore the circumstances surrounding the fatal Tesla crash on 7th May 2016. Safety Science. (doi:10.1016/j.ssci.2017.12.023).

Record type: Article

Abstract

“Human error” is often implicated as a causal factor in accident investigation yet very little is done to understand ‘why’ such errors occur in the first place. This paper uses the principles of Schema Theory and the Perceptual Cycle Model (PCM) to further explore the circumstances surrounding the fatal Tesla crash in May 2016 in which the driver was fatally injured using team-PCM representations. The preliminary National Highway Traffic Safety Administration accident investigation concluded that the driver of the Tesla Model S was at fault. However, the analysis presented in this paper argues that rather than “driver error”, the underlying cause of this tragic incident could be in fact more akin to a “designer error” implicating the design of the Autopilot feature itself. This is in line with the National Transportation Safety Boards more recent announcement that suggests systems design may have contributed to the crash. It would therefore appear that the drivers expectation of system functionality may not have matched the real life capabilities of the system. This is likely to be a product of inappropriate mental models relating to system function.

Text
Pure_PCM of the Tesla Crash - Accepted Manuscript
Restricted to Repository staff only until 23 June 2019.
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More information

Accepted/In Press date: 19 December 2017
e-pub ahead of print date: 23 December 2017
Keywords: driving automation, human error, mental models, perceptual cycle model, schema theory

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 416674
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/416674
ISSN: 0925-7535
PURE UUID: ff7922ec-c770-4e97-b5bd-2b7dd991cde5
ORCID for Katherine Plant: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-4532-2818
ORCID for Neville A. Stanton: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-8562-3279

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 04 Jan 2018 17:30
Last modified: 16 Jul 2019 17:41

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