Workload, Distraction, and Automation

Authored by: John D. Lee , Michael A. Regan , William J. Horrey

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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New technologies are entering the market that are capable of supporting the driver to perform (or of automating) some, or all, of the functional activities traditionally performed by human drivers. As such, automation stands to change the fundamental aspects of the driving task as subtasks are added or subtracted, such that the role and responsibilities of the driver will be transformed in the coming years. This will impact driver workload, depending on the type and/or level of automation as well as various situational and environmental factors. This chapter describes the concept of workload and its implications for performance, drawing from existing studies and theories from the human factors literature. The role and impact of driver distraction are also discussed. The interaction between different levels of automation and driver workload and distraction is described, along with approaches to manage workload and distraction in light of new forms of automation.

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