Stanton, N.A., Young, M.S. and McCaulder, B.
Drive-by-wire: the case of mental workload and the ability of the driver to reclaim control
Safety Science, 27, (2-3), . (doi:10.1016/S0925-7535(97)00054-4).
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Vehicle automation is highly likely to be in service by the end of this century. Whilst there are undoubtedly some benefits associated with such systems, there are some concerns also. This paper presents work in progress on the Southampton Driver Simulator on driver workload and the driver's ability to reclaim control from the Adaptive Cruise Control system in a malignant scenario. Previous studies suggest that there may be some cause for concern. This study shows a reduction in mental workload, within a secondary task paradigm, associated with operating Adaptive Cruise Control. This finding is contrary to previous research into Adaptive Cruise Control. Further, in line with other research, this study shows that a third of the participants were unsuccessful in reclaiming control of the vehicle before a collision occurred. We suggest that more research and development effort needs to be spent on looking at the communication between Adaptive Cruise Control and the driver.
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