Cognitive engineering analysis of an automated car

Here I summarize the final project I did together with Gabriel Gelman for the graduate class Cognitive Engineering taught by Dr Karen Feigh, Professer at Georgia Tech School of Aerospace. The idea was to apply several concepts we learned about work domain analysis, levels of automation and function allocation to the rising problem of self-driving cars. Let’s try to keep in mind that the final report was written in 2011 when Google and other companies’ efforts to create autonomous vehicles were still at the embryonic stage. We emphasize the need for a formal analysis of allocation of tasks between the driver and the autopilot in the transition phase which will take place in the upcoming year: neither the infrastructure nor the technology allows fully-automated vehicles to safely operator on every type of road. Although this project doesn’t attempt to tackle the technical challenges inherent to such automation, it’s still a good read as I believe cognitive aspects should have a more central position in the current debate about autonomous cars.