Automated vehicles have been under development for many years, but it is still largely unknown how this new technology will impact evolving transportation systems, our social world, and the individuals who live within it and whether such systems ought to be fully automated or remain under some form of direct human control.
It may be that human intervention need not necessarily be from inside the vehicle; instead the physical location of the human controller can be remote from the actual vehicle itself. Regardless of the specific spatial relations between controller and vehicle, the human operator will require levels of effective situation awareness calibrated to ambient environmental demands at all times because the point at which any such human intervention will be required remains unpredictable as yet. Again, this raises the specter of prolonged vigilance and its well-known decrement and response failure. This human-as-backup architecture, which removes the person from momentary control and instead places him or her in a supervisory context, in many ways defeats the very idea of automation in the first place. However, it is currently seen as a necessary transition phase, and a way to put driverless vehicles on the market in the near future.
In this pre-study, we aim at identifying potential safety challenges related to human factors in the context of remote control of heavy automated vehicles. The project will build upon previously conducted projects in the field and strives after to provide more in-depth knowledge on human factors that have not been addressed yet. The research question addressed by the project: What are potential safety issues from human factors perspective related to remote control of heavy automated vehicles?