Sharing Control Between Human and Automation Using Haptic Interface: Primary and Secondary Task Performance Benefits

Paul Griffiths and R. Brent Gillespie

Human Factors, Fall 2005

In this paper, a paradigm for human/automation control sharing is described in which a machine’s manual control interface is motorized to allow a human and an automatic controller to exert control simultaneously. The manual interface becomes a haptic display, relaying information to the human about the actions of the automatic controller. While monitoring the automation actions, the human may express his control intentions in a way that either overrides the automation or conforms to it. Because the human remains tightly integrated in the primary control task, he retains responsibility and awareness even while giving away a portion of the workload to the automation. The objective of this paper is to demonstrate how adding automation by motorizing the manual interface can be used not only to improve performance on a primary task, but also to reduce perceptual demands or free attention for a secondary task. Results are presented from 3 experiments in which 11 subjects completed a path following task using a motorized steering wheel on a fixed-base driving simulator. The automation system behaved like a co-pilot who had a hand on the steering wheel, could see the road but not certain obstacles,) and would assist with path following by applying torques to the steering wheel through a relatively light spring. Results indicate that haptic assist applied through the steering wheel improves path following by least 30%, p<0.0001 while either reducing visual demand by 29%, p<0.0001, or improving reaction time in a secondary tone localization task by 18 ms, p=0.0009. Whereas the presence of a secondary task adversely affected lane keeping performance without haptic assist, there was no dependence of path following performance or obstacle avoidance on the presence of a secondary task with haptic assist.


/body> ml>