Technical Reports

Human Factors Phase III: Effects of Train Control Technology on Operator Performance

  • 01
  • Jan
  • 2005
AUTHOR: Edward J. Lanzilotta and Thomas B. Sheridan
KEYWORDS: automation, high-speed trains, human factors, human-in-the-loop simulation, risk estimation, safety, supervisory controls, train control, transportation
ABSTRACT: This report describes a study evaluating the effects of train control technology on locomotive engineer performance. Several types of train control systems were evaluated: partial automation (cruise control and programmed stop) and full automation were compared to manual train control. The study evaluated how these systems affected human performance related to position control, speed regulation and response to system failures, using a human-in-the-loop locomotive simulator. The study found a significant difference in the variance of response times to brake failures and traction motor failures for the partial automation condition compared to manual and full automation conditions. In this condition, participants biased toward monitoring events outside the locomotive instead of the instrument panel.