Alert! Automated Vehicle (AV) System Failure – Drivers’ Reactions to a Sudden, Total Automation Disengagement

Conference paper
Part of the Advances in Intelligent Systems and Computing book series (AISC, volume 1212)


Despite the “driverless” term, drivers of automated vehicles still constitute an integral part of the human-machine team that will be driving the future. This study emphasized drivers by evaluating the attentiveness, stress levels, and reactions of 67 participants, ages 18–65+ years, during a sudden, total disengagement of automation in a driving simulator-based rural freeway setting. Attentiveness was characterized by a significant increase in gaze fixation and a significant decrease in fatigue, yet stress levels did not appear to significantly change. Regardless of age, gender, or level of non-driving related task involvement, participants reacted to the failure first by steering, requiring 12.30 s (50th percentile) to 29.26 s (90th percentile), followed by speed control after 18.26 s (50th percentile) to 40.86 s (90th percentile). These findings highlight the need for addressing the potentially dangerous implications of automation failure.


Automated Vehicle (AV) failure Driver reactions 


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Copyright information

© The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Civil Engineering, Russ College of Engineering and TechnologyOhio UniversityAthensUSA

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