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  • 1.
    Carlström, Malin
    KTH, School of Technology and Health (STH), Health Systems Engineering, Ergonomics.
    Design for Human Behaviour and Automation: Development and Evaluation of a Holistic Warning Approach2014Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
    Abstract [en]

    A human-centered approach when developing new support systems in vehicles has the potential to enable the driver to make safe decisions in the transition between manual and automatic control. However, careful considerations have to be taken. Not only would the design of the systems, in terms of interface be important, but also what kind of activities the systems support. The aim of this study was to identify an appropriate activity to support the cognitive processes for truck drivers, develop an interface for this activity, and evaluate it in driving situations. This was executed in three sub-studies: the Pre-study, the Design-study, and the Evaluation study.

    In the Pre-study, the aim was to investigate for what kind of driver-related activity distribution and long haulage truck drivers need a driver support and interface. This was investigated via contribution from truck drivers, HMI/Ergonomics experts, as well as engineers. The activity chosen to support was detecting objects around the vehicle. However, reconsiderations were made due to constrains in the simulator. Suggested by Scania’s Vehicle Ergonomics group a holistic system was chosen; an interface approach enabling for more technologies to be included within the same interface, reducing the amount of modalities a driver can be exposed to.

    The Design-study addressed the aim of designing an interface for the Holistic system with truck drivers’ cognitive workload in focus. A LED-prototype was built running along the window edges inside the cab of Shania’s Vehicle Ergonomics groups’ simulator, to create warning signal concepts. Literature findings, the LED-prototype, and the simulator were used in an iterative process to design and improve warning signal concepts, until two final concepts were created. The holistic system informs of hazards around and near the vehicle by lighting the area risky objects occurs to guide drivers’ attention and this was done either with 1) the informative display or, 2) the directional display. The Informative display conveys information of a hazard location and type, and the Directional display exclusively conveys information of the hazard location.

    The Evaluation study explored how drivers were affected by, and how they perceived, the holistic interface design regarding mental workload and hazard detection. A user simulator test was designed to collect data within the areas of ‘Event detection’, ‘Workload’, ‘Driving performance’ and ‘Subjective opinion’. Fourteen professional truck drivers assessed three conditions: 1) Baseline (driving without a system), 2) the Informative display, and, 3) the Directional display, while being exposed to potential hazards. To further increase workload, a secondary task was performed at the end of each condition.

    The results showed that the Informative display did not only result in more ‘Detection hits’, instances when a driver responded to a present hazard, but also significantly decreased reaction time to detect a hazard. However, in terms of acceptance, the two concepts were considered equally preferred. As the Informative display showed to be more efficient in terms of hazard detection, this should be investigated further. A holistic interface enables for more systems to be included within the same interface, reducing the amount of alarms and modalities drivers are exposed to if designed skillfully. Thus, more support systems can be included in future vehicles, without causing unnecessary distraction when applying a holistic interface approach.

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