Technical Reports

Preview Information in Cab Displays for High-Speed Locomotives

  • 01
  • Jul
  • 2005
AUTHOR: Jay Einhorn, Thomas Sheridan, and Jordan Multer
OFFICE: RPD
REPORT NUMBER: DOT/FRA/ORD-04/12
KEYWORDS: attention allocation, automation, high-speed trains, human-in-the-loop simulation, intelligent
ABSTRACT: This research examined the usefulness of preview information in the control of high-speed trains. Experiments were run on a human-in-the-loop locomotive simulator. The primary goal was to examine whether the proposed information-aiding displays improved safety and efficiency of train operation over an existing display. Safety was measured by monitoring speed control, signal adherence, and reaction time. Efficiency was measured by monitoring stopping accuracy and schedule deviation. Locomotive engineers and student participants performed similarly with respect to signal adherence and speed control. Preview information was useful in both cases; Longer preview and variable preview displays provided the best results. The preview displays were detrimental to accurate station-stopping, as the displays provided an inadequate level of resolution to stop accurately. Although the locomotive engineers responded favorably to the preview displays, further work is needed to determine how the engineer allocates attention between information in the cab and information outside the cab.

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