The effect of instructions context-related information about car limitations on driver’s state and awareness

Bachelor thesis, University of Fribourg, 2020

  • 4 students to supervise.
  • The students worked few hours a week for 10 months.
  • Supporting the student for designing the experiment, prepare the material for data collection, collecting and analyzing the data.
  • Communication in English with the students.
  • Study done in 3 languages : French, German and Italian.

Context of the project

The goal of this project is to investigate the effect of receiving instructions about limitations of automated cars increase the situation awareness and takeover quality of drivers during critical takeover situations. Another goal was to investigate the effect of receiving context-related information while driving on situation awareness and takeover quality. The data were collected on a fixed-based driving simulator where participants had to drive in conditional automation for about 1 hours. Half of them received material before the driving session about the limitations of cars. Besides, half of them also received context-related information about car’s environment through a mobile application displayed in split-screen on a tablet. All participant performed a succesion of visual and auditory secondary tasks (N-back). They also had to react to 5 takeover situations.

Tasks done by the students

  • Design of the experiment (procedure and choice of task and measures)
  • Preparation of the material for user testing : questionnaires, instructions, audio recorder
  • User testing : data collection of 90 participants
    • Socio-demographic questions
    • Physiological signals : ECG, EDA and Respiration
    • Mental demand after each task : NASA Task Load Index (NASA-TLX)
    • Task performance
    • Situation Awareness Rating Technique (SART) after each takeover situation
    • Open question for the cause of takeover after each takeover situation
    • User experience (UEQ-S) : the mobile appliction and the simulator
  • Data analysis
  • Realization of the bachelor thesis
  • Optional : Creation of a poster summarizing the work done