Human Factors Considerations in Preparing Policy and Regulation for Automated Vehicles

Authored by: Marcus Burke

Handbook of Human Factors for Automated, Connected, and Intelligent Vehicles

Print publication date:  June  2020
Online publication date:  May  2020

Print ISBN: 9781138035027
eBook ISBN: 9781315269689
Adobe ISBN:


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This chapter attempts to answer the question “What human factors issues need to be considered in preparing policy and regulation for the deployment of automated vehicles?” It will attempt to provide general findings, regardless of the specific legal system, but will primarily rely on examples from Australia. Human factors issues relate ultimately to the design of systems, so the question becomes how much do policy makers need to be involved in attempting to influence (1) how companies design systems for human users and (2) how humans interact with those systems. This is difficult in areas of new and evolving technology. The risks may not yet be clear, let alone the optimal solutions to address those risks. As a result, policy makers may need to consider moving towards less prescriptive and more outcome- or principles-based approaches to policy and regulation. This will ensure that risks are managed, and companies and individuals can be held responsible, while allowing for system innovation and evolution. However, it will mean less standardization, which can create its own risks. Standards will need to be developed in time, potentially by government or industry. The focus in this chapter is on the human factors of automated vehicles, not those of connected vehicles, which may create different risks. The chapter suggests further areas of research and identifies the need to continually update policy as human behavior changes and the understanding of human risks evolves.

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