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Transport Ergonomics and Human Factors (TEHF)


The field of Transport offers a variety of topics highlighting particular human-machine interactions in dynamic environments. Furthermore, technological development in this field is bringing about new users’ needs resulting from changes in tasks and increasing complexity in the environment. Different modes of transport could be addressed within this TC but, at a starting stage, just road transport will be the focus of our work although any different proposals will be welcome.
From vehicle and in-vehicle equipment design to road environment adequacy to road users’ needs and related tasks, Ergonomics and Human Factors play an important role in this field. In addition, road transport involves a great variability of road users: drivers (different ages, gender, experience, professional status, type of vehicle driven, etc.) and pedestrians. Therefore, TEHF will focus on human-machine interactions in a variety of situations highlighting safety, comfort and efficiency in every task performance with the aim of contributing to human-centred design.


The main goal of TEHF is to provide information and communication amongst IEA members and general public from the Ergonomics profession, as well as exchange of knowledge and experience resulting from research and practice in the field of Transport. This knowledge should be disseminated to different sectors of the society, particularly transport related industry and governmental organisations. With this purpose, TEHF will define the relevant and updated topics on Transport to be addressed at IEA congresses and any scientific meetings endorsed by IEA.

Organisational structure

The TEHF is organized into working groups according to the following approaches: (1) an individual approach centred on the user (driver, rider or pedestrian); (2) a vehicle-technology approach centred on design and usability requests with safety and comfort purposes; and (3) a system approach providing an integrated perspective of the whole system (driver-vehicle-environment). A set of topics will be defined under each approach, but some of them will rely on topics from other approaches. It means that horizontal connections are expected and even recommended.
Each group will be working covering relevant topics related to the driver and the driving task, the vehicle and technology, the road infrastructure and environment. These topics will be developed according to the following main target areas of study that have been identified:

User approach:
1.User human factors

-User variability: Criteria of nature (driver, rider or pedestrian), age, gender, experience, impairment and context (standard or professional).

-User’s activity: Human Factors (attention, situation awareness, distraction and inattention, mental representation, workload, human error, fatigue and drowsiness);

-Models of user’s activity.

-User’s behaviour: Interaction with other road users (drivers, pedestrians, two wheels riders). Risk behaviour.

-Driver’s training and re-training needs (resulting from ageing and technological changes).

-Particular groups of drivers and their specific needs (elderly, disabled, novice, professional).

2.Driving task performance

-Task demands and related risks.

-Primary and additional tasks performance:
  • Additional task and related risks,
  • Recommendations regarding the use of IVIS (In-Vehicle Information and communication Systems).
-Changes in task performance resulting from the use of ADAS.

-Driving task models.

Vehicle and technology approach:
1.Vehicle and technology design

- Human-centred design guidelines for ITS (ADAS, IVIS) based on the study of related impacts (short and long term) on driving task and driver’s activity:

---Incorrect use of the system (misuse),

---Feeling of safety introduced by the system that can induce the person to take more risks,

---Specific driving characteristics of a particular group of drivers, as well as their specific needs not fitted by the system,

---New behavioural patterns developed by the driver.
-Human-centred design guidelines based on anthropometric criteria matched with driving task related demands.

-Recommendations for installation of in-vehicle mobile equipment.

-Recommendations for the implementation of information systems in the context of public transport.

2.In-vehicle systems usability: theory and evaluation methods

-Usability variables,

-Evaluation methodology.

System approach:
1.Travelling and mobility needs:

-Travelling task model (entire travel chain from trip planning to the arrival) covering driving and public transport.
-Promotion of accessibility for mobility impaired people following the travelling task model.
--- Definition of users groups categories and identification of related specific needs,
--- Recommendations for accessibility covering vehicles and infrastructures, as well as information needs according to each category of users,
--- Recommendations for specific adaptations fitting special needs of particular groups of drivers.

2.Safe and user-friendly infrastructure and environment

-Promotion of safety within the roadway system by means of providing recommendations for user-friendly environment.
----Provision of recommendations for roadway information displaying: timing, space and quality;
----Provision of recommendations for design and improvement of pedestrian areas taking into account special needs of mobility impaired people;
-Provision of recommendations for human error management within the roadway system to transport authorities;

3.Transport related working systems

-Provision of recommendations for working schedules and shiftwork to transport operators
-Regarding drivers and traffic control operators.

Based on the above-referred approaches to the subject of Transport Ergonomics and Human Factors but being aware of further needs for interactions among the different topics, the following working groups are proposed:
-Driver human factors
-Driving task performance
-Vehicle and technology design
-Systems usability: theory and evaluation methods
-Travelling and mobility needs
-Safe and user-friendly infrastructure and environment
-Transport related working systems

Action Plan

The work to be carried out within the TEHF will start with the collection of contributions from members aiming at improving the present document. These contributions will allow the following actions:
  1. To organise a session on Transport Ergonomics and Human Factors devoted to road transport for the IEA Congress 2009.
  2. To organise symposia/workshops in industrial developing countries (IDCs) on transport EHF.
  3. To foster partnerships with transport/vehicle groups in research, training and practice.
  4. To publish a handbook on Transport Ergonomics and Human Factors.