Getting Back Into the Loop: The Perceptual-Motor Determinants of Successful Transitions out of Automated Driving

Callum D. Mole, Otto Lappi, Oscar Giles, Gustav Markkula, Franck Mars, Richard M. Wilkie

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleScientificpeer-review


Objective: To present a structured, narrative review highlighting research into human perceptual-motor coordina- tion that can be applied to automated vehicle (AV)–human transitions.
Background: Manual control of vehicles is made possible by the coordination of perceptual-motor behaviors (gaze and steering actions), where active feedback loops enable drivers to respond rapidly to ever-changing environments. AVs will change the nature of driving to periods of monitoring followed by the human driver taking over manual control. The impact of this change is currently poorly understood.
Method: We outline an explanatory framework for understanding control transitions based on models of human steering control. This framework can be summarized as a per- ceptual-motor loop that requires (a) calibration and (b) gaze and steering coordination. A review of the current experi- mental literature on transitions is presented in the light of this framework.
Results: The success of transitions are often measured using reaction times, however, the perceptual-motor mechanisms underpinning steering quality remain relatively unexplored.
Conclusion: Modeling the coordination of gaze and steering and the calibration of perceptual-motor control will be crucial to ensure safe and successful transitions out of automated driving.
Application: This conclusion poses a challenge for future research on AV-human transitions. Future studies need to provide an understanding of human behavior that will be sufficient to capture the essential characteristics of drivers reengaging control of their vehicle. The proposed framework can provide a guide for investigating specific components of human control of steering and potential routes to improving manual control recovery.
Original languageEnglish
JournalHuman Factors
Issue number7
Pages (from-to)1037-1065
Number of pages29
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2019
MoE publication typeA2 Review article in a scientific journal

Fields of Science

  • 6162 Cognitive science
  • perception
  • action
  • steering
  • gaze coordination
  • motor control
  • automated driving
  • human-computer interaction

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