ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202208.0346.v1
Subject: Behavioral Sciences, Cognitive & Experimental Psychology Keywords: ambient light; reliability; take-over request; mental workload; electroencephalography (EEG); transition of control
Online: 18 August 2022 (11:02:56 CEST)
Drivers of L3 automated vehicles (AVs) are not required to continuously monitor the AV system. However, they must be prepared to take over when requested. Therefore, it is necessary to design an in-vehicle environment that allows drivers to adapt their levels of preparedness to the likelihood of control transition. This study evaluates ambient in-vehicle lighting that continuously communicates the current level of AV reliability, specifically on how it could influence drivers' take-over performance and mental workload (MW). We conducted an experiment in a driving simulator with 42 participants who experienced 10 take-over requests (TORs). The experimental group experienced a four-stage ambient light display that communicated the current level of AV reliability, which was not provided to the control group. The experimental group demonstrated better take-over performance, based on lower vehicle jerks. Notably, perceived MW did not differ between the groups, and the EEG indices of MW (frontal theta power, parietal alpha power, Task-Load Index) did not differ between the groups. These findings suggest that communicating the current level of reliability using ambient light might help drivers be better prepared for TORs and perform better without increasing their MW.