Human Factors Phase III: Effects of Train Control Technology on Operator Performance

This report describes a study evaluating the effects of train control technology on locomotive engineer performance. Several types of train control systems were evaluated: partial automation (cruise control and programmed stop) and full automation were compared to manual train control. The study evaluated how these systems affected human performance related to position control, speed regulation and response to system failures, using a human-in-the-loop locomotive simulator. The study found a significant difference in the variance of response times to brake failures and traction motor failures for the partial automation condition compared to manual and full automation conditions. In this condition, participants biased toward monitoring events outside the locomotive instead of the instrument panel.

  • Record URL:
  • Corporate Authors:

    Massachusetts Institute of Technology

    Human-Machine Systems Laboratory, 77 Massachusetts Avenue
    Cambridge, MA  United States  02139

    Volpe National Transportation Systems Center

    55 Broadway
    Cambridge, MA  United States  02142

    Federal Railroad Administration

    Office of Research and Development, 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, DC  United States  20590
  • Authors:
    • Lanzilotta, Edward J
    • Sheridan, Thomas B
  • Publication Date: 2005-1


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Web
  • Edition: Final Report
  • Features: Appendices; Figures; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 84p

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01002022
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: DOT-VNTSC-FRA-05-01, DOT/FRA/ORD-04/18
  • Contract Numbers: R2103/RR204
  • Files: NTL, TRIS, USDOT
  • Created Date: Jul 12 2005 3:17PM