Sharing Control With Haptics
Haptic shared control was investigated as a human-machine interface that can intuitively share control between drivers and an automatic controller for curve negotiation. As long as automation systems are not fully reliable, a role remains for the driver to be vigilant to the system and the environment to catch any automation errors. The conventional binary switches between supervisory and manual control has many known issues, and haptic shared control is a promising alternative. A total of 42 respondents of varying age and driving experience participated in a driving experiment in a fixed-base simulator, in which curve negotiation behavior during shared control was compared to during manual control, as well as to three haptic tunings of an automatic controller without driver intervention. Under the experimental conditions studied, the main beneficial effect of haptic shared control compared to manual control was that less control activity (16% in steering wheel reversal rate, 15% in standard deviation of steering wheel angle) was needed for realizing an improved safety performance (e.g., 11% in peak lateral error). Full automation removed the need for any human control activity and improved safety performance (e.g., 35% in peak lateral error) but put the human in a supervisory position. Haptic shared control kept the driver in the loop, with enhanced performance at reduced control activity, mitigating the known issues that plague full automation. Haptic support for vehicular control ultimately seeks to intuitively combine human intelligence and creativity with the benefits of automation systems.