Vehicle Feedback and Driver Situation Awareness

1st Edition

Guy H. Walker, Neville A. Stanton, Paul M. Salmon

CRC Press
Published June 5, 2018
Reference - 356 Pages - 67 B/W Illustrations
ISBN 9781472426581 - CAT# Y249288
Series: Human Factors in Road and Rail Transport

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  • Presents the outcome of a substantial research project into a relatively neglected area of vehicle design
  • Describes the ‘Human Factors’ that lie at the heart of the driver-vehicle interaction, those which help to explain why so many people, with comparatively little training, can drive a car in what is a complex environment, with the appearance of relative ease
  • Provides a unique perspective on what vehicle designers might also refer to as ‘feel’
  • Uses Human Factors theories and concepts to explain clearly how this property contributes to driver Situational Awareness (SA) and how, without care, it can be inadvertently ‘designed out’ leading to unintended consequences for driver behavior and safety
  • Offers the reader a new understanding on what it is about the evolved nature of the existing driver-vehicle interaction that contributes to its success, and how we can take this knowledge forward into a new era of vehicle design


A potentially troubling aspect of modern vehicle design – some would argue - is a trend towards isolating the driver and reducing vehicle feedback, usually in the name of comfort and refinement but increasingly because of automation. There can be little doubt cars have become more civilised over the years yet, despite this, the consequences on driver behaviour remain to a large extent anecdotal. Readers of this book will have heard such anecdotes for themselves. They usually take the form of drivers of a certain age recalling their first cars from the 1970’s or 80’s, in which "doing 70mph really felt like it". The question is whether such anecdotes actually reflect a bigger, more significant issue that could be better understood? Related questions have been explored in other domains such as aviation, where the change to ‘fly-by-wire’, for example, did indeed bring about some occasionally serious performance issues which were not anticipated. Despite some clear parallels automotive systems have been left relatively unexamined. The research described in this monograph aims to explore precisely these issues from a Human Factors perspective. 


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