Federal Highway Research Institute's ergonomics laboratory
The ergonomics laboratory conducts tests on persons using driver information and assistance systems.
The aim of these experiments is to assess interactions between humans and machines as well as the resulting effects on traffic safety in order to optimize it. The ergonomics laboratory also participates in advancement of assessment procedures. In this manner, the laboratory helps close research gaps and consolidate scientifically founded positions.
The following issues are focused on presently:
- Distractions posed to drivers by driver information and assistance systems.
- Stresses/strains exerted on drivers by driver information and assistance systems, and possibilities of mitigating them.
- Addressing the resumption of car control system by the driver, following (partially) automated driving.
- Drivers' ability to learn and acquire competence in handling driver information and assistance systems.
- Influence of driver age on handling ability; necessity for age-specific adaptations.
- Assessment of systems for registering driver conditions critical to safety (for instance, driver fatigue) and driver warning systems.
- Incorrect use or misuse of driver information and assistance systems.
- Rating and optimization of methods, instruments and criteria for assessing driver information and assistance systems.
To permit assessments of the influence of such systems on driving behaviour, the test persons must be exposed to the systems' handling and functionality within the context of the primary driving tasks. Computer simulations are used to reproduce driving tasks and system operations in the laboratory, as well as generate relevant experimental conditions.