Mrs Clare Mutzenich

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If a problem arises in an automated vehicle that prevents it from navigating independently to its destination, a remote human operator may be required to intervene. Using information second hand” from the scene will unavoidably result in reduced situational awareness (SA).

This PhD research project considers what level of awareness is sufficient to remotely control a vehicle safely, how long is required to build up this level of awareness and whether SA would be improved by the provision of additional information (e.g. VR, auditory relay). Bespoke video stimuli, taken using cameras mounted on the front, rear and sides of a manual-control vehicle will be stopped without warning and participants probed about their awareness of the environment. Experiments will evaluate whether SA is improved, relative to a baseline test, by the inclusion of additional information.

The research has real-world engineering applications in the design of remote control operations crucial to the introduction of autonomous vehicles.

This project forms an exciting new collaboration between Professor Polly Dalton (with expertise on attention and awareness), Dr Szonya Durant (with expertise on visual perception and eye tracking) and Dr Shaun Helman (Head of Transport Psychology at TRL – the UK’s Transport Research Laboratory, who will be the collaborative partner for the project).

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