The University of Massachusetts Amherst
University of Massachusetts Amherst

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MIE Seminar Series: "Human Factors and Advanced Vehicle Technologies"


Friday, February 22, 2019 - 12:00pm


Professor Anuj Pradhan, UMass Amherst


Kellogg Room, ELab II


Advanced technologies are being integrated into vehicles at an accelerating pace, offering safety and convenience features to drivers. However, in addition to being complex systems in and of themselves, these technologies stand to change the fundamental nature of the driving task, especially as the systems take on more of the driving responsibilities. Driver knowledge and understanding of automated driving systems (ADS)—sometimes referred to as one’s mental model—are important considerations in appropriate use of these systems. The driver needs to understand the capabilities and limitations of any ADS. To the extent that a mental model is inaccurate or incomplete, drivers might believe that their system can perform actions it cannot, or that it operates properly in or conditions that, in actuality, it was not designed for. In addition, the mental models of drivers contribute to trust and acceptance of these systems, with well-calibrated trust being an ideal state, and over-trust and under-trust as suboptimal. This talk will focus on two studies: an experiment to understand user trust and acceptance of such systems; and an approach towards better understanding the role of mental models towards errors in driver-ADS interactions. Implications on design, training, and policy will be discussed.

Dr. Pradhan joined UMass Amherst as an Assistant Professor in the Dept. of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering in Spring 2019. Previously, he was an Assistant Research Scientist at the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute (UMTRI). He received his MS and a PhD in Industrial Engineering (Human Factors) from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and competed a postdoctoral fellowship as a visiting fellow at the National Institutes of Health. He studies driver behavior and safety with a focus on: the human factors of advanced vehicle technologies and automation; young and novice drivers; and, training and intervention. He approaches these questions using experimental and observational approaches using driving simulation, test tracks, and naturalistic methods. He currently serves on the Transportation Research Board (TRB) Technical Activities Standing Committee for Simulation and Vehicle and Operator Performance Measurement, the Subcommittee on Young Drivers, and the Joint Subcommittee on Human Factors in Road Vehicle Automation, and previously served on the TRB Committee for Operator Education and Regulation. He is also a member of the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE), the Association for the Advancement of Automotive Medicine (AAAM), and the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society (HFES) and was past-chair of the Surface Transportation Technical Group of the HFES.