The University of Massachusetts Amherst
University of Massachusetts Amherst

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MIE Seminar Series: Automation Frenzy: Can We Account for the Unexpected?


Monday, February 12, 2018 - 9:00am


Professor Francesco Biondi, University of Utah


Kellogg Room, Elab II


Automation is a pervasive force, disrupting user interaction with machines across different fields, from healthcare to transportation. However, recent research shows that inefficient human-machine interfaces not only fall short of enhancing performance, but also have the potential to overload users and cause unintended safety consequences. Within the realm of driving, using modern in-vehicle infotainment systems is found to diminish driver engagement in the primary driving task for unsafe lengths of time. Recent studies also show that inefficient assistance technologies can counteract their expected safety benefits. In this talk, I will discuss research I have conducted in the field of driver-vehicle cooperation. I will outline the ways I leverage my industry experience to enhance my ongoing research on the unintended consequences of on-road vehicle automation. I will also address challenges facing the future of user automation, and the outlook of innovative methodologies currently being developed to assess fluctuations in user workload and arousal.

Dr. Francesco Biondi is a Research Assistant Professor at the University of Utah. His research focuses on assessing and developing user interfaces for automotive applications. He obtained his Ph.D. in Experimental Psychology in 2014 from the University of Padova in Italy, after spending two years as a visiting Research Assistant at the University of Utah. After earning his degree, he joined the Research and Development team at Jaguar Land Rover, where he contributed to the design of user-vehicle interfaces for crash-avoidance systems and in-vehicle assistants. As a member of industry consortia, he supported the development of human-machine interfaces for automated driving systems. In his current role at the University of Utah, he co-leads a team of Human Factors graduate and undergraduate students. He is also an active member in the Transportation Research community, at both the state and national levels.