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Federal Highway Administration Research and Technology
Coordinating, Developing, and Delivering Highway Transportation Innovations

This report is an archived publication and may contain dated technical, contact, and link information
Publication Number: FHWA-RD-95-153
Date: November 1996

Development of Human Factors Guidelines for Advanced Traveler Information Systems and Commercial Vehicle Operations: Literature Review



The Intelligent Transportation System (ITS) integrates the driver, vehicle, and the road to raise overall efficiency and driver safety. To this end, advanced technologies are being developed and applied. Two specific areas within the ITS framework are addressed in this report: Advanced Traveler Information Systems (ATIS) and Commercial Vehicle Operations (CVO).

ATIS is an important area for Human Factors and Safety research. Both urban and rural travelers will be provided real–time information on traffic and road conditions, vehicle location and navigation, safety warnings, and a host of motorist services. The inclusion of ATIS functions in the automotive environment changes the composite task of driving. If great care is not taken in designing this new task environment, performance and safety will suffer.

CVO's are vital to the movement of goods as well as providing services such as bus transportation and medical emergency response. Commercial vehicles, public service vehicles, and passenger vehicles fall into the category of CVO. Just about any endeavor that has a fleet of road vehicles is considered a CVO. The economic backbone of the country relies on timely and reliable delivery of products. The national roadway shipping infrastructure will benefit greatly from using technologies of ITS in general, and ATIS in particular.

The goal of this project is to develop human factors guidelines for the design of ATIS and CVO systems. Achievement of this goal will require the application of existing principles and guidelines to the ATIS/CVO domain, analysis and modeling of ATIS and CVO tasks using existing tools, and empirical research to fill gaps in the current base of knowledge.

The purpose of Task A was to conduct a literature review of human factors–applicable articles associated with ATIS and ATIS–related CVO systems. Specifically, the goal of Task A was to assess existing human factors guidelines to determine their applicability to ATIS systems and identify research gaps that would be filled to establish complete and comprehensive ATIS guidelines. As with any literature review, the conduct of Task A was treated as a foundation for subsequent tasks.

The methodology employed to complete Task A included a mass mailing (over 500 letters) to solicit articles, reports, and information from public and private sector organizations and individuals; advertising at the Human Factors Conference and the Human Factors Bulletin; and conduct of numerous database searches. Over 1000 articles were collected via this methodology. The articles were prioritized with respect to the potential value for human factors guideline development. Annotated bibliographies were then prepared for approximately 300 of the highest priority articles. Once the annotations were complete, they, as well as additional articles, were reviewed for the preparation of this final report.

As part of the Task A review, attempts were made to procure existing human factors guidelines of interest from several sources. These sources included existing ATIS/CVO research published in refereed sources, existing ATIS/CVO technical reports, articles describing comparable systems such as aircraft, and existing human factors guideline documents.

In attempting to compile applicable guidelines from these sources it became apparent that there are literally thousands of guidelines that apply to at least some degree to ATIS/CVO systems. Therefore, an effort was made to prioritize guidelines and report as part of this document only those guidelines that are particularly applicable.

The research status of ATIS applied to private vehicles and CVO is mixed. Both applications are relatively new, yet both already are involved in large–scale operational test programs. The Intelligent Vehicle Highway Society of America, tasked with advising the government on the development of ITS in the U.S., has outlined the development process of ITS over the next twenty years (Intelligent Vehicle Highway Society of America, 1992b). Several projects have advanced to the demonstration project stage, yet basic aspects of ITS are still being defined. In the near–term (1992–1996) ITS research, development, and operational testing is planned (Intelligent Vehicle–Highway Society of America, 1992b).

The ATIS/CVO research to date has tended to be system–description oriented, with details of the organization of research that is or needs to be conducted. As such, there are many human factors research issues that still need to be addressed before a comprehensive set of guidelines can be developed. However, a number of issues have been resolved for ATIS systems or comparable systems and need not be re–addressed. It is apparent that, as the development of hardware progresses, the next few years will see a marked growth in the literature available from both U.S. demonstration projects and foreign sources. Therefore, as the research planning phase of this project progresses, it will be critical to continue vigilant review of current studies.

It is anticipated that the data from the initial U.S. operational tests and additional European and Japanese projects will serve to fill some of the largest gaps in the current human factors knowledge base. However, even with current knowledge and the promise of data from operational tests, it is apparent that many human factors research issues will need to be empirically addressed before a comprehensive set of guidelines can be developed.




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