Latest findings from human factors research on automation in vehicles to be presented

Many human factors experts are studying effects of automation in vehicles to help ensure the safe application of technology for drivers, passengers, pedestrians, and infrastructure. More work needs to be done in this area as vehicle and technology developers rush to bring products and systems to market in what has become a highly competitive area in transportation.

Automation in vehicles is the topic of a number of presentations at the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society 2016 Annual Meeting, to be held September 19-23 at the Washington Hilton. The list below is only part of the program content focusing on the topic; there are also presentations on the related subjects of distracted driving among adults and teens, cognitive implications for human-automation interaction (fatigue, age, etc.), trust in automation, ethical considerations of self-driving vehicles, and more.


1:30-3:00 p.m.

A Human Factors Perspective on Ethical Concerns of Vehicle Automation, Wesley J. Kumfer, Samuel J. Levulis, Megan D. Olson, and Richard A. Burgess, Texas Tech U.

Putting the Brakes on Autonomous Vehicle Control: Responding to System Breakdowns, Kelly Funkhouser and Frank Drews, U. of Utah

Reaction Times When Switching From Autonomous to Manual Driving Control: A Pilot Investigation, Kelly Funkhouser and Frank Drews, U. of Utah

3:30-5:00 p.m.

Special Invited Session 1: Automated and Driverless Cars: Separating Myth From RealityPanelists: Donald A. Norman, U. of California, San Diego; Alain L. Kornhauser, Princeton U.

5:00-6:30 p.m.

Acceptance of Self-Driving Cars: An Examination of Idealized Versus Realistic Portrayals With a Self-Driving Car Acceptance Scale, Michael A. Nees, Lafayette College


1:30-3:00 p.m.

Effects of Auditory Working Memory Tasks While Switching Between Autonomous and Manual Driving, Madeleine McCarty, Kelly Funkhouser, Jonathan Zadra, and Frank Drews, U. of Utah,


8:30-10:00 a.m.

The Evolving Role of Automation in Transportation: Human Factors Lessons Learned From the Different Modes, Discussion PanelChair: Maura Lohrenz, Volpe National Transportation Systems CenterPanelists: Maryam Allahyar, U.S. Federal Railroad Admin.; Ensar Becic, National Transportation Safety Board; Sheryl Chappell, U.S. Federal Aviation Admin.; Donald L. Fisher, U. of Massachusetts-Amherst; Chris Monk, National Highway Traffic Safety Admin.; Brian H. Philips, U.S. Federal Highway Admin.

10:30 a.m.-12:00 noon

Evaluating Demands Associated with the Use of Voice-Based In-Vehicle Interfaces, Discussion PanelChair: Bryan Reimer, Massachusetts Inst. of TechnologyPanelists: Linda Angell, Touchstone Evaluations; David L. Strayer, U. of Utah; Louis Tijerina, Ford Motor Co.; Bruce Mehler, Massachusetts Inst. of Technology

A number of the presentations are included in the HFES 2016 Annual Meeting proceedings. To obtain copies of proceedings papers for media-reporting purposes, contact HFES Communications Director Lois Smith (310/394-1811;

Source: Human Factors and Ergonomics Society