Performance of an Additional Task During Level 2 Automated Driving: An On-Road Study Comparing Drivers With and Without Experience With Partial Automation

Objective: To investigate the influence of prior experience with Level 2 automation on additional task performance during manual and Level 2 partially automated driving.

Background: Level 2 automation is now on the market, but its effects on driver behavior remain unclear. Based on previous studies, we could expect an increase in drivers’ engagement in secondary tasks during Level 2 automated driving, but it is yet unknown how drivers will integrate all the ongoing demands in such situations.

Method: Twenty-one drivers (12 without, 9 with Level 2 automation experience) drove on a highway manually and with Level 2 automation (exemplified by Volvo Pilot Assist generation 2; PA2) while performing an additional task. In half of the conditions, the task could be interrupted (self-paced), and in the other half, it could not (system-paced). Drivers’ visual attention, additional task performance, and other compensatory strategies were analyzed.

Results: Driving with PA2 led to decreased scores in the additional task and more visual attention to the dashboard. In the self-paced condition, all drivers looked more to the task and perceived a lower mental demand. The drivers experienced with PA2 used the system and the task more than the novice group and performed more overtakings.

Conclusions: The additional task interfered more with Level 2 automation than with manual driving. The drivers, particularly the automation novice drivers, used some compensatory strategies.

Applications: Automation designers need to consider these potential effects in the development of future automated systems

Solís-Marcos, I., Ahlström, C., & Kircher, K.
Research area
Publication type
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Human Factors
Year of publication

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