Technical Reports

Safety of High Speed Guided Ground Transportation Systems: Human Factors Phase I - Function Analyses and Theoretical Considerations

  • 01
  • Oct
  • 1994
AUTHOR: T. Sheridan, E. Lanzilotta and S. Askey
SUBJECT: High-Speed Passenger Rail, Human Factors
KEYWORDS: Human factors, transportation, high-speed trains, safety, human performance, workload, situation awareness, decision aids, displays, human-in-the-loop simulation, model-in-the-loop simulation
ABSTRACT: Although the speed of guided ground transportation continues to increase, the reaction time as well as the sensory and information processing capacities of on- and off-board operators remain constant. This report, the first of two examining critical human factors issues in future high-speed rail systems, focuses on the implications of this disparity on safety. It discusses the human factors aspects of French, German, and Japanese high-speed rail systems. It reviews salient human factors literature relevant both to human-machine functional allocation and safety in rail systems, and makes comparisons to similar aspects of operating aircraft, nuclear power stations, and other complex systems. Function analyses for high-speed train cab operation and dispatching centers are presented in the form of flow diagrams. Scenarios of abnormal conditions are suggested. Finally, the report addresses human-machine allocation and automation in controlling future high-speed trains, including the safety implications of various levels of automation.