Influence of tasks on the take-over performance during highly automated driving

Project No. FF-FP 0429




Highly automated driving will be increasingly present on German roads in the coming years. This allows the driver to concentrate on other activities while driving automatically. However, the driver remains obliged to take over control again within a short period of time at the request of the system. Research has investigated different influences on the take-over situation; however, a systematic comparison of the effects of non-driving-related tasks is still lacking. In the coming years, professional drivers in particular will spend the "time freed up" behind the wheel on work tasks. In the sense of the prevention of takeover-related accidents, this project will examine tasks with regard to their suitability for processing during highly automated driving. The project investigates the effect of different tasks on the time and quality of take-over in highly automated driving as well as the resulting psychological stress. The introduction of automation has shifted the driver's task more and more towards system monitoring, which can have negative consequences for the strain situation, especially if additional work tasks have to be performed during phases of highly automated driving. The leading research hypothesis of the project is that constitutive characteristics of the tasks to be performed have an influence on the assumption. Based on these features, a traffic light, indicating the strain of particular tasks during highly automated driving, will be developed. This makes it possible to reduce the risk of accidents due to transfer errors.


The project is divided into five work packages (WPs). WP1 results in a review of the state of the art of research regarding the influence of secondary tasks on take-over from highly automated driving. In WP2, a test station will be set up in which various tasks can be tested as a secondary task to a monitoring task. In WP3, the test station is equipped with driving simulation tiles so that different, realistic and critical take-over scenarios can be investigated in combination with the tasks from WP2. WP4 brings together the findings from WP2 and WP3 in a dynamic driving simulation in which professional drivers are examined as test subjects. WP5 develops the traffic light on the basis of all previous WPs and makes it available to the German Social Accident Insurance. As a result of the project a traffic light is presented, which allows to classify possible tasks for processing during highly automated driving with regard to their influence on take-over situations and the resulting psychological strain on the driver. This is an important step towards the prevention of accidents caused by take-over errors from highly automated driving. For the German Social Accident Insurance such a traffic light has a high added value, since it can be distributed to all members as a handbook.

Last Update:

27 Aug 2019


Financed by:
  • Deutsche Gesetzliche Unfallversicherung e. V. (DGUV)
Research institution(s):
  • Technische Universität Dresden

-cross sectoral-

Type of hazard:

design of work and technology


prevention, mental strain/stress, traffic accidents

Description, key words:

Influence of tasks, take-over, automation