Driver behaviour and driver experience of partial and fully automated truck platooning: a simulator study

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Magnus Hjälmdahl
Stas Krupenia

This paper builds our knowledge of truck driver behaviour in and experience of automated truck platooning, focusing on the effect of partially and fully automated truck platoons on driver workload, trust, acceptance, performance, and sleepiness.

Twenty-four male drivers experienced three conditions in a truck driving simulator, i.e., baseline, partial automation, and full automation: the baseline condition was driving with standard cruise control; partial automation was automated longitudinal control ten metres behind the truck in front, with the driver having to steer; and full automation was automated longitudinal and lateral control. Each condition was simulated in three situations: light traffic, heavy traffic, and heavy traffic plus fog.

The experiment demonstrated that automation affects workload. For all workload measures, partial automation produced higher workload than did the full-automation or baseline condition. The two measures capturing trust were consistent and indicated that trust was highest under the baseline condition, with little difference between partial and full automation. Driver acceptance of both levels of automation was lower than acceptance of baseline. Drivers rated their situation awareness higher for both partial and full automation than for baseline, although both levels of automation led to higher sleepiness.

The challenge when implementing truck platooning is to develop a system, including human–machine interaction (HMI), that does not overburden the driver, properly addresses driver sleepiness, and satisfies current legislation. The system also must be trusted and accepted by drivers. To achieve this, the development of well-designed HMI will be crucial.

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