Technical Reports

Development of a Preliminary Set of Human Factors Functional Design Guidelines for Remote Control Locomotive Systems

  • 01
  • Jul
  • 2007
AUTHOR: Stephen Reinach and Alex Viale
OFFICE: RPD
REPORT NUMBER: DOT/FRA/ORD-07/19
KEYWORDS: Remote control locomotive, human factors guideline, human systems integration, human factors engineering, railroad safety
ABSTRACT: This report summarizes work to develop a set of preliminary human factors functional design guidelines for remote control locomotive (RCL) systems, in particular the design of the operator control unit (OCU). To carry out the work, researchers first conducted a human factors analysis of existing RCL OCUs to better understand current OCU designs. Analysis looked for instances of 13 different human factors design issues that can induce human error. The research team analyzed four different OCUs. Human factors issues that were found included: 16 instances of inappropriate use of color in displays, 15 instances of poor color choices for critical controls, 12 instances of symmetry issues, 5 adjacency issues, and 1 instance of a critical control that was not protected. Next, researchers identified emerging technologies and capabilities that may be incorporated into next generation RCL systems. Third, human factors standards and guidelines relevant to RCL systems were reviewed. Lastly, a preliminary set of human factors, top-level functional design guidelines are recommended. Researchers identified and organized a total of 51 preliminary human factors functional design guidelines into the following 7 categories: general design, general function, feedback, labels, use of color, visual displays and indicators, and auditory displays and alarms. More work is suggested to advance the guidelines to a final form.
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