Exploring Transitional Automation with New and Old Drivers
Age and experience influence driver ability to cope with transitions between automated and manual driving, especially when drivers are engaged in media use. This study evaluated three age cohorts (young/new drivers, adults, and seniors) on their performance in transitions from automated driving to manual vehicle control in a laboratory driving simulator. Drivers were given three tasks to perform during the automated driving segments: to watch a movie on a tablet, to read a story on a tablet, or to supervise the car's driving. We did not find significant differences in people's driving performance following the different tasks. We also did not find significant differences in driving performance between the people in each age group who successfully completed the study; however, the rejection rate of the senior age group was over 30% because many of the people in this age group had difficulty hearing instructions, understanding tasks, or remembering what to do.