Layers of shared and cooperative control, assistance, and automation

  • Marie-Pierre Pacaux-LemoineEmail author
  • Frank Flemisch
Original Article


Over the last centuries, we have experienced scientific, technological, and societal progress that enabled the creation of intelligent-assisted and automated machines with increasing abilities and that require a conscious distribution of roles and control between humans and machines. Machines can be more than either fully automated or manually controlled, but can work together with the human on different levels of assistance and automation in a hopefully beneficial cooperation. One way of cooperation is that the automation and the human have a shared control over a situation, e.g., a vehicle in an environment. Another way of cooperation is that they trade control. Cooperation can include shared and traded control. The objective of this paper is to give an overview on the development towards a common meta-model of shared and cooperative assistance and automation. The meta-models based on insight from the h(orse)–metaphor and Human–Machine Cooperation principles are presented and combined to propose a framework and criteria to design safe, efficient, ecological, and attractive systems. Cooperation is presented from different points of view such as levels of activity (operational, tactical and strategic levels) as well as the type of function shared between human and machine (information gathering, information analysis, decision selection, and action implementation). Examples will be provided in the aviation domain, in the automotive domain with the automation of driving, as well as in robotics and in manufacturing systems highlighting the usefulness of new automated function but also the increase of systems complexity.


Human–machine systems Human-centered design Balanced systems Multi-level systems Shared control Cooperative control Cooperation 



This research is part of the International Research Group, Human–Machine Systems in Transportation and Industry (HAMASYTI). Part of the research was funded by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft DFG in the Projects “Arbitrierung” and in the DFG-focus program “Cooperatively Interacting vehicles”.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London Ltd., part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Laboratory of Industrial and Human Automation Control, Mechanical Engineering and Computer Science LAMIHCNRS UMR 8201, Polytechnic University of Hauts-de-France59300 ValenciennesFrance
  2. 2.Fraunhofer Institute for Communication, Information Processing and Ergonomics FKIEWachtbergGermany
  3. 3.IAW Institute for Industrial Engineering and ErgonomicsRWTH Aachen UniversityAachenGermany

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