Vehicle automation technology is progressing rapidly, and vehicle manufacturers now have the capability to manufacture a wholly self-driving vehicle that can cope with the demands of many traffic situations. However, there is still more research required before the reliability, safety and security of self-driving vehicles can be totally assured. Several Human Factors issues are evident, and much research has been devoted recently to issues such as Takeover Requests and Driver-in-the-Loop (e.g.), In-vehicle HMI for self-diving vehicles, Distraction and Inattention and Fatigue amongst many other concerns.
This special issue was initiated following the 2018 Conference of the Human-Centred Design for Intelligent Transport Systems Virtual Centre of Excellence (HUMANIST-VCE) in The Hague, The Netherlands. However, following a call for papers, studies not presented at the symposium were also considered for this final Special Edition of TRF: Traffic Psychology and Behaviour.
Vehicle Automation has already influenced our personal mobility, particularly in the passenger car. Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC), lane-keeping assistance, blind spot assistance, and parking assistance systems are already standard features on many vehicles. Such systems can provide information and advice (e.g., warnings, suggested actions) or control the vehicle in specific longitudinal or lateral tasks. However, some vehicles now have the capability to be fully self-driving with only legal, regulatory and technical barriers standing in the way of allowing the driver to hand over the complete driving task to the driver during everyday driving, particularly on highways where traffic flow is relatively homogenous. What challenges remain before this can become a reality?