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Effects of mental demands on situation awareness during platooning: A driving simulator study

Effects of mental demands on situation awareness during platooning: A driving simulator study
Effects of mental demands on situation awareness during platooning: A driving simulator study

Previous research shows that drivers of automated vehicles are likely to engage in visually demanding tasks, causing impaired situation awareness. How mental task demands affect situation awareness is less clear. In a driving simulator experiment, 33 participants completed three 40-min runs in an automated platoon, each run with a different level of mental task demands. Results showed that high task demands (i.e., performing a 2-back task, a working memory task in which participants had to recall a letter, presented two letters ago) induced high self-reported mental demands (71% on the NASA Task Load Index), while participants reported low levels of self-reported task engagement (measured with the Dundee Stress State Questionnaire) in all three task conditions in comparison to the pre-task measurement. Participants’ situation awareness, as measured using a think-out-loud protocol, was affected by mental task demands, with participants being more involved with the mental task itself (i.e., to remember letters) and less likely to comment on situational features (e.g., car, looking, overtaking) when task demands increased. Furthermore, our results shed light on temporal effects, with heart rate decreasing and self-constructed mental models of automation growing in complexity, with run number. It is concluded that mental task demands reduce situation awareness, and that not only type-of-task, but also time-on-task, should be considered in Human Factors research of automated driving.

1369-8478
193-209
Heikoop, Daniël D.
d4598c35-c8a9-4d0f-82d1-d956d5793d7d
de Winter, Joost C.F.
59ebe174-7c3e-4b83-937e-f36a9a9c106a
van Arem, Bart
95291aab-bdc1-40ba-8c2a-6149e4a7238a
Stanton, Neville A.
351a44ab-09a0-422a-a738-01df1fe0fadd
Heikoop, Daniël D.
d4598c35-c8a9-4d0f-82d1-d956d5793d7d
de Winter, Joost C.F.
59ebe174-7c3e-4b83-937e-f36a9a9c106a
van Arem, Bart
95291aab-bdc1-40ba-8c2a-6149e4a7238a
Stanton, Neville A.
351a44ab-09a0-422a-a738-01df1fe0fadd

Heikoop, Daniël D., de Winter, Joost C.F., van Arem, Bart and Stanton, Neville A. (2018) Effects of mental demands on situation awareness during platooning: A driving simulator study. Transportation Research Part F: Traffic Psychology and Behaviour, 58, 193-209. (doi:10.1016/j.trf.2018.04.015).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Previous research shows that drivers of automated vehicles are likely to engage in visually demanding tasks, causing impaired situation awareness. How mental task demands affect situation awareness is less clear. In a driving simulator experiment, 33 participants completed three 40-min runs in an automated platoon, each run with a different level of mental task demands. Results showed that high task demands (i.e., performing a 2-back task, a working memory task in which participants had to recall a letter, presented two letters ago) induced high self-reported mental demands (71% on the NASA Task Load Index), while participants reported low levels of self-reported task engagement (measured with the Dundee Stress State Questionnaire) in all three task conditions in comparison to the pre-task measurement. Participants’ situation awareness, as measured using a think-out-loud protocol, was affected by mental task demands, with participants being more involved with the mental task itself (i.e., to remember letters) and less likely to comment on situational features (e.g., car, looking, overtaking) when task demands increased. Furthermore, our results shed light on temporal effects, with heart rate decreasing and self-constructed mental models of automation growing in complexity, with run number. It is concluded that mental task demands reduce situation awareness, and that not only type-of-task, but also time-on-task, should be considered in Human Factors research of automated driving.

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Effects of mental demands on situation awareness during automated platoo.._ - Accepted Manuscript
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Accepted/In Press date: 18 April 2018
e-pub ahead of print date: 22 June 2018

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 422401
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/422401
ISSN: 1369-8478
PURE UUID: cebec733-37a3-41ef-a0cc-aa7e17eac9c5
ORCID for Neville A. Stanton: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-8562-3279

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Date deposited: 23 Jul 2018 16:30
Last modified: 18 Feb 2021 17:13

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Contributors

Author: Daniël D. Heikoop
Author: Joost C.F. de Winter
Author: Bart van Arem

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