U.S. Department of Transportation
Federal Highway Administration
1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
Washington, DC 20590

Skip to content

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-98-178
Date: June 26, 1998

Identification of Human Factors Research Needs - Final Report







This section of the report describes the specific tasks and activities that have been performed during this effort. It focuses on the subtask 2 activities, since the methods and results associated with subtask 1 (conducting the human factors workshop) have been described in the workshop proceedings that were assembled and distributed by ITS America (ITS America, 1997).

The activities and development procedures associated with: (1) the summaries of the 26 IVI User Services, (2) the 7 Technology Modules, and (3) the 5 Candidate Configurations for the IVI are described below.





Sources of Technology References for User Services Tables

The references used to substantiate the IVI User Services tables have been derived from several past and ongoing project activities at Battelle. For example, Battelle currently supports two specification development countermeasure programs funded by NHTSA. These are Single–Vehicle Roadway–Departure and Intersection Crash Avoidance applications. Also, we were recently under contract to a commercial client for the development of a lane–departure prevention system based on both infrastructure and in–vehicle technologies. Finally, Battelle is currently sponsoring an internal research and development program regarding roadside safety. This project seeks to integrate ITS technologies embedded in the roadside with other in–vehicle ITS technologies. Previous Battelle programs relevant to this effort include the analysis of crash causal factors (Volpe National Transportation Systems Center) and a precursor study for the Automated Highway System (AHS). Battelle is actively involved with ITS America and was a founding member of that organization.

From these programs, Battelle personnel have compiled an extensive library of books, journals, and technical papers that were used in this project. A partial list includes:

  1. SAE publications.
  2. Intelligent vehicle proceedings.
  3. Web sites.
  4. Literature search, Battelle library resources.
  5. Technical specifications and brochures from manufacturers.
  6. Participation on ITS America committees and subcommittees.

Determining the Availability of the IVI User Services

The three generations of IVI vehicles were defined in terms of their capabilities:

  • Generation I: driver warning + information.
  • Generation II: Generation I + limited control + driver assistance functions.
  • Generation III: Generation II + automation of some or all functions.

The distinction between limited control and driver assistance functions could be somewhat ambiguous. For example, limited control could be referred to by some as autonomous cruise control systems (ACC), while driver assistance functions could imply, say, low–level steering input supplied by a lane–departure prevention system.

The time periods when these generations of IVI vehicles will become available were estimated to be:

  • Generation I: in 5 years.
  • Generation II: in 6 to 10 years.
  • Generation III: in 11 to 15 years.

In developing the User Services summaries, we exercised our best engineering and marketing judgment regarding the capabilities (e.g., rear–end collision avoidance) of specific vehicle platforms (e.g., light vehicles) during a particular time period (e.g., Generations I, II, or III). In our discussions of the User Services, an "available" subfunction refers to availability for implementation as a prototype system, not necessarily availability for mass production. The completed User Services tables are most accurate for the "As–Is" category and become less certain over longer periods of time. Our best judgment is based on an extrapolation of current progress, although references have been cited to support our conclusions. The references provided are not meant to be indicative of an exhaustive search of the literature, but are given to substantiate the entries in the table cells.

One of our first tasks was to assess the subfunctions that could be included under each of the 26 User Services defined in the RFI. Each User Service was therefore decomposed into subfunctions and an assessment was made as to the availability of each (i.e., existing, or available for use on a Generation I, II, or III IVI). This technology identification and availability analysis are presented in detail in the Results section of this final report.

Examples of User Services tables are given where particular subfunctions are stated in the descriptions of the User Services provided by the Joint Program Office (JPO). All entries in the table cells are based on references for systems that have either prototype or production status. Our definition of prototype includes relatively mature systems that could be ready, more or less, for production. This definition is in keeping with a goal of the IVI program to accelerate the deployment of vehicles with advanced safety features. We recognize that this definition of a prototype may conflict with the definition held by others. However, it was adopted in order to focus on the relatively mature systems that are not part of a larger "laboratory on wheels." Examples of the latter include the Delco SSC (Safety, Security, and Communications), the Daimler–Benz Vita II, the French ProLab II, and several vehicles from the Japanese Advanced Safety Vehicle (ASV) program. These latter safety systems are impressive, but it is unlikely that they would ever be manufactured as production–type vehicles at their current level of complexity.

Development of Human Factors Research To–Date and Research Needs

The human factors research to–date summaries reflect concise overviews of the current literature as well as the general consensus of human factors professionals' expert opinions. Current literature was acquired from: (1) the Battelle Human Factors Transportation Center's collection of literature, including books, journal articles, and conference proceedings; (2) publication lists from the FHWA and NHTSA; and (3) literature searches using national databases. Expert opinions from human factors experts and other members of the ITS community were obtained at the Human Factors IVI Workshop held in December 1997 (see ITS America, 1997).

Literature searches were conducted on the User Services if: (1) Battelle did not possess a current and representative set of literature, (2) data sources were not found in FHWA and NHTSA publication lists, or (3) it was a very new technology that had not been addressed by the transportation research community. The literature searches were conducted using the User Service title and appropriate derivations as key terms (see table 1). The key terms listed in the table were all used separately first, and then combined (as shown in the table) to produce the most useful, yet representative, list of literature. The databases included in these searches were: (1) the National Technical Information Service, (2) the Transportation Research Information Service, (3) Compendex, (4) INSPEC, and (5) PsycInfo.

Table 1. Summary of the strategy used for database searches.

User Service

Key Terms Used in Literature Search

(1) Railroad Collision Avoidance

  • (Railroad and collision avoidance).

(2) Vision Enhancement

  • (Infrared or Infra or Ultra violet or ultraviolet) and (visual and enhance).

(3) Vehicle Stability Warning and Assistance

  • (Warning system and stability) and (vehicle or truck).
  • (Vehicle or truck) and brake(s), and (onboard or computer or vehicle information or intelligent transportation or intelligent vehicle) and control system.
  • Active (brake or braking).

(4) Automatic Collision Notification System/ Safety Event Recorder

  • (Roadside or roadside assist or mayday system or accident notification or automatic collision notification or automatic notification and collision.

(5) Smart Restraints and Occupant Protection Systems

  • (Smart restraint or automatic restraint or (automatic and occupant) or (automatic and passenger)) and system.

(6) Driver Comfort and Convenience

  • Commercial vehicle and (real time or realtime) and dispatch.

(7) Cargo Identification

  • (Truck or commercial vehicle) and (cargo identification or cargo monitor or cargo environment).

(8) Transit Passenger Monitor

  • Passenger monitor and (bus or buses or transit or subway).

(9) Tight Maneuver/ Precision Docking

  • (Precision docking or tight maneuver(ing) or tight maneuver(ing) or automatic docking).

All of the literature was systematically reviewed by first quickly reviewing the data sources and sorting them into one of three categories: (1) relevant, (2) moderately relevant, and (3) not relevant. The articles deemed relevant were read thoroughly, while the moderately relevant articles were reviewed with the objective of identifying two or three key research issues that have been well–documented in the literature. The IVI workshop proceedings (ITS America, 1997) were evaluated as well as a way of verifying the key research issues identified in other data sources. Projects from NHTSA (i.e., the CAS specification programs) and FHWA (the human factors DVI work) were evaluated to determine whether the selected key research issues had been involved in completed or current projects. Finally, research findings and conclusions relevant to human factors issues were documented.

The literature and the proceedings from the IVI workshop were reviewed again to determine if several literature sources cited similar future research directions and/or needs. If more than one source cited a specific research issue, then that issue was determined to have a greater likelihood of being a useful research issue for the IVI than if the issue was mentioned in only one data source. Other evaluation criteria included the quality, applicability, and date of the data source, with data sources having higher quality, greater applicability, and more recent publication dates assigned more weight in the data source evaluation process. The NHTSA Report to Congress (1997) was also evaluated to determine if any of the designated future research needs were already planned future projects. These human factors research needs were then presented and discussed in the Human Factors Research Needs section of the User Services Summary. The original strategy in the Project Plan was to obtain the alternative IVI vehicle configurations and associated infrastructure requirements from the December 1997 workshop described above. However, this information did not materialize in the workshop. Workshop attendees tended to focus on defining a comprehensive list of potential technologies that could go into an IVI to accomplish the User Services, but time did not permit identifying specific technology mixes to define alternative IVI configurations. Also, due to limited time, very little attention was given to any infrastructure issues. Therefore, the strategy to accomplish the subtask 2 objectives was revised. It was essential to have alternative IVI subsystem configurations defined for the different vehicle platforms to identify the human factors research that needed to be done. But the IVI program has not matured to a point that the U.S. DOT or stakeholders have defined exactly what systems comprise a Generation I IVI for any of the four platforms. Therefore, the project team was forced to be proactive in defining alternative IVI scenarios that could be used for identifying the human factors research needs. All of the information obtained from the subtask 1 workshop was used as a basis for this research.

To allow analysis of more complex IVI alternatives, the functional subsystems identified for various User Services were combined into "Modules." For this research, seven modules were defined as follows:

  1. Module A. Basic Collision Warning Technologies.
  2. Module B. Advanced Collision Warning Technologies.
  3. Module C. Basic Traveler Information Devices.
  4. Module D. Driver Convenience Devices.
  5. Module E. ITS Collision Warning Systems for Heavy Vehicles.
  6. Module F. ITS Information Systems for Heavy Vehicles.
  7. Module G. ITS Technologies for Transit.

Each module was analyzed to determine high–priority human factors research that was needed to obtain a safe–operating IVI. Any human factors work that had already been completed and is applicable to the module being analyzed was identified. Needed human factors work that could not be found was identified as a potential research need to be considered in early human factors research for the IVI. Key steps and development issues associated with subtask 2 are summarized in figure 1.

Figure 1. Key steps and development issues in subtask 2.






Previous | Table of Contents | Next

Federal Highway Administration | 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE | Washington, DC 20590 | 202-366-4000
Turner-Fairbank Highway Research Center | 6300 Georgetown Pike | McLean, VA | 22101