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

Mueller, Alexandra S. / Reagan, Ian J. / Cicchino, Jessica B.
Insurance Institute for Highway Safety
March 2020

Currently available Level 2 driving automation has the potential to reduce crashes. However, there are known risks with drivers misusing these systems, particularly as they relate to drivers becoming disengaged from the driving task. The purpose of this paper was to summarize the human factors literature and make empirically supported design recommendations for Level 2 driving automation on the best methods to encourage driver engagement and communicate where the system can safely be used. Our recommendations pertaining to driver engagement concern driver monitoring systems that detect signs of driver disengagement, driver attention reminder methods, escalation processes, consequences for sustained noncompliance when monitoring systems have detected driver disengagement, 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 should be communicated and restricted. We advise you to consider these recommendations in a holistic context, as selectively adhering to only some may inadvertently exacerbate the dangers of driver disengagement and system misuse.