A new study says that behavioural training for drivers is paramount for the transition into the next stage of automated vehicles, known as level 3 automation. Researchers from the University of Nottingham and the RAC Foundation studied two groups of ‘experienced drivers’ in a high-fidelity driving simulator to observe their behaviour while driving a car with level 3 automation.
The study found that drivers who received behavioural training were more measured in their behaviour and better understood the car’s capabilities and limitations. The behavioural training included the provision of a checklist known as ‘CHAT’, pioneered by Emily Shaw in the University’s Faculty of Engineering. The other group trained by reading an operating manual. The acronym CHAT (check, assess, takeover) represents the actions required and help to guide the driver in making the appropriate checks and assessment of their internal and external environments prior to taking over operational control of the vehicle.
During a period of automated driving, participants in both groups could decide whether to engage in a non-driving task, such as looking at their phone, tablet, laptop or reading materials, or nothing at all. When notified by the vehicle to take back control and transition from automated driving, the group who were trained with only an operating manual took almost 10 times longer to pay full attention to driving, continuing glances at their non-driving task for an average of 11.2 seconds, compared with 1.8 seconds in the behavioural group.