Addressing driver disengagement and proper system use: human factors recommendations for Level 2 driving automation design

Mueller, Alexandra S. / Reagan, Ian J. / Cicchino, Jessica B.
Journal of Cognitive Engineering and Decision Making
March 2021

Level 2 driving automation has the potential to reduce crashes; however, there are known risks when using these systems, particularly as they relate to drivers becoming disengaged from driving. This paper provides data-driven recommendations for Level 2 driving automation design using the best currently available methods to encourage driver engagement and communicate where and how a system can safely be used. Our recommendations pertaining to driver engagement concern driver management systems that monitor the driver for signs of disengagement and return the driver to the loop using a multimodal escalation process with attention reminders, countermeasures for sustained noncompliance to the attention reminders, and proactive methods for keeping drivers engaged with respect to driver-system interactions and system functionality considerations. We also provide guidance on how the operational design domain (ODD), driver responsibilities, and system limitations should be communicated and how these systems must be self-limited within the ODD. In addition, we discuss the benefits and limitations of training to emphasize the importance of making these systems intuitive to all users, regardless of training, to ensure proper use. These recommendations should be applied as a whole, because selectively adhering to only some may inadvertently exacerbate the dangers of driver disengagement.