PACTS is pleased to publish (19th September 2019) What Does My Car Do? by Dr Shaun Helman, Chief Scientist at TRL, and Oliver Carsten, Professor of Transport Safety, University of Leeds. The report conclude that,
“The lack of full standardisation of vehicle controls and the driver interface with driver assistance systems means there is often a ‘human factors’ deficit in which drivers are forced to use systems they do not necessarily fully understand. The onset of more vehicle automation may make this worse. We need urgent action to stop this from happening.”
The authors call for action through the United Nations Economic Council for Europe (UNECE) which sets global standards, to harmonise interface standards between the vehicle controls and the driver. They warn “…if we neglect the user in the brave new world of automated vehicles, we might be heading for a bigger mess.”
PACTS Executive Director, David Davies, said,
“PACTS takes a cautiously optimistic view of the developments in vehicle technology and automation. There appears to be huge potential to help drivers to be safer in the driving task and, at some point, to replace the human driver in some or many roles with a less error prone system. But we are not there yet and there is public confusion about the degree of “automation” in cars on the market today. We will be raising this issue with the Government.
Shaun Helman and Oliver Carsten are longstanding members of the PACTS Road User Behaviour Working Party. Oliver was the Chair for many years until December 2018. This paper was their initiative and PACTS is very grateful to them for their time and advice. The Working Parties form an invaluable part of PACTS’ technical expertise and structure.”
A copy of the report can be found here.