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How Will Smart Cars Affect the Future of Driving?

Human Factors Special Issue Discusses Automation in Vehicles

California, Nevada, and Florida have already made driverless cars street-legal, and continuing advances in the technology have led many to predict that the commercialization of automated vehicles is a real possibility in the not-so-distant future.

As driverless vehicles become more commonplace, it is important to understand how humans interact with this new technology. The Human Factors special issue on automation, featuring the latest articles on designing automated vehicles with the driver in mind, is now available online. The October 2012 issue may be found at

“With an almost exponential increase in the development of new technologies for driver assistance and support in vehicles, the topic of this special issue seemed very appropriate,” said Guest Editor Natasha Merat. “The issue brings together research results on the effect of automation in vehicles on human factors and driver behavior and provides a valuable collection of papers from North America and Europe outlining the most recent research in the area.”

The research in this issue represents a range of topics, including in-vehicle warning systems, driver-system interaction, user experience, and drivers’ willingness to accept and trust smart cars. The following is a sampling of articles included in the special issue.

- “Fatigue and Voluntary Utilization of Automation in Simulated Driving”

- “Driving With a Partially Autonomous Forward Collision Warning System: How Do Drivers React?”

- “Sharing Control With Haptics: Seamless Driver Support From Manual to Automatic Control”

- “Trust in Smart Systems: Sharing Driving Goals and Giving Information to Increase Trustworthiness and Acceptability of Smart Systems in Cars”

“Rapidly developing vehicle technology will likely change driving more in the next five years than it has changed in the previous fifty, and understanding how drivers will respond to these changes is critical,” said Guest Editor John D. Lee. “This special issue offers the first collection of papers on highly automated vehicles with a focus on how technology will affect drivers and provides a view into the future of driving.”

Questions about the journal or HFES may be directed to HFES Communications Director Lois Smith (310/394-1811;

The Human Factors and Ergonomics Society is the world's largest nonprofit individual-member, multidisciplinary scientific association for human factors/ergonomics professionals, with more than 4,600 members globally. HFES members include psychologists and other scientists, designers, and engineers, all of whom have a common interest in designing systems and equipment to be safe and effective for the people who operate and maintain them. “Human Factors and Ergonomics: People-Friendly Design Through Science and Engineering”

Plan to attend the HFES 56th Annual Meeting, October 22- 26:

SAVE THE DATE! 2013 Symposium on Human Factors and Ergonomics in Health Care: Advancing the Cause, March 12-14, 2013, Baltimore Marriott Waterfront Hotel, Baltimore, Maryland; go to

Lois Smith | EurekAlert!
Further information:

Further reports about: Automation Driving Ergonomics HFES Human vaccine affect factors human factor smart bridges

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