Effects of non-driving related tasks on mental workload and take-over times during conditional automated driving

BACKGROUND: Automated driving will be of high value in the future. While in partial-automated driving the driver must always monitor the traffic situation, a paradigm shift is taking place in the case of conditional automated driving (Level 3 according to SAE). From this level of automation onwards, the vehicle user is released from permanent vehicle control and environmental monitoring and is allowed to engage in Non-Driving Related Tasks (NDRT) in his or her newly gained spare time. These tasks can be performed until a take-over request informs the user to resume vehicle control. As the driver is still considered to be the fall-back level, this aspect of taking over control is considered especially critical. METHODS: While previous research projects have focused their studies on the factors influencing the take-over request, this paper focuses on the effects of NDRT on the user of the vehicle during conditional automated driving, especially on the human workload. NDRT (such as Reading, Listening, Watching a movie, Texting and Monitoring ride) were examined within a static driving simulator at the Institute of Ergonomics & Human Factors with 56 participants in an urban environment. These NDRT were tested for mental workload and the ability to take over in a critical situation. To determine the perceived workload, the subjective workload, psychophysiological activity as well as performance-based parameters of a secondary competing task performed by a were used. RESULTS: This study revealed that the selected NDRT vary significantly in their mental workload and that the workload correlates with the length of the time needed for take over control. NDRT which are associated with a high workload (such as Reading or Texting) also lead to longer reaction times.


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  • Accession Number: 01768736
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Feb 22 2021 6:22AM