20 Apr 2023

Driving change

When independent human factors consultant Ron McLeod bought his new electric car, he didn’t realise it was equipped with self-driving features – or how much of a shift it would be adjusting to the new vehicle. As an expert in autonomous systems, Ron has written an account of the “shocking experience” he had when making the switch.

The new car has the ability to stay in its lane by itself and can adjust its own speed and the distance from the car in front. But Ron argues that manufacturers need to use more design techniques to support drivers in controlling such vehicles, including rethinking the design of the interface and doing more to help users maintain a good awareness of what mode the system is in.

Ron, one of the authors of our white paper on Human Factors in Highly Automated Systems, said: “What I’ve learned about the process of transitioning to being the owner of a car with autonomous capabilities has genuinely shocked me. I find it hard to believe that the global car industry is paying so little attention to preparing their customers to understand and use the autonomous features of their vehicles. And that governments and regulators around the world are allowing them to do so.”

Read Ron’s full article about his experience and have your say on autonomous vehicles in our Communities Open Forum.

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