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The University of Southampton

Research project: HF-AUTO: Human Factors of Highly automated Driving

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Road transport is an essential part of society but the burden of traffic crashes, congestion, and pollution is enormous. Highly automated driving has the potential to resolve these problems and major car makers foresee that highly automated driving will be technically ready for commercialisation within one decade from now.

HFAuto aims to bridge the gap between engineers and psychologists through a multidisciplinary research and training programme. We will combine engineering domains such as simulator hardware, traffic flow theory, control theory, and mathematical driver modelling with psychological domains such as human action and perception, cognitive modelling, vigilance, distraction, psychophysiology, and mode/situation awareness, to optimally address the interdisciplinary domain of human factors.

Through secondments in automotive industry, road safety institutes, and academia, the researchers will gain transferable knowledge of human factors, technology, and legal and marketing aspects of HAD.

Driving simulator

The ITN will investigate human behaviour in HAD using extensive driving simulator studies with a newly developed driver state monitor. A multimodal human-machine interface (HMI) will be developed, supporting the driver in HAD and in transitions between automated and manual driving. Driver cognition and behaviour will be captured in mathematical driver and traffic flow models. Using this methodology we will predict benefits of HAD in terms of enhanced safety, traffic efficiency, and eco-driving before system introduction. Taking into account legal, human, and technical requirements a roadmap for market introduction of HAD will be proposed.

Related research groups

Transportation Group


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