Human Factors

Human Factors

The human factors research initiative is a multidisciplinary collaboration of UF researchers working in the areas of aging and geriatric science, civil engineering, computer science, industrial and systems engineering, and occupational therapy. Group interests range from methods for accommodating degenerative effects of aging to support public and personal transportation system use; cognitive, perceptual, visual, motor and other sensory disorders that impact function and participation of special populations and understanding of how technology mediates limitations in transportation system use; characterization of driver visual behavior and performance in using highway systems; safety issues in integration of advanced technologies with automobiles and driver use of portable devices; assessment of driver cognitive demands and situation awareness in various driving situations; and autonomous vehicle interface design for supporting human manual control in takeover situations.

The overarching goal of the group is to develop convergent solutions for access to transportation systems with safety and high and independent performance in use. Our convergent approach translates to linear methods or step-by-step approaches for various types of users to most effectively and efficiently make use of public transportation and personal manual and automated vehicles. The group seeks research partnerships with city, state and federal agencies for solving complex transportation systems design problems. We also partner with companies involved in the development of advanced automated vehicle systems, technologies for accommodating special populations in terms of system access and use, as well as consultation on human factors issues in vehicle and/or roadway infrastructure design.

The THFSG has major research instrumentation available for exploring the above-identified interests and supporting research partnerships with external organizations. These resources include driving simulator facilities, including portable systems for studies at the user’s location; fixed-base full vehicle cab simulation with realistic visual aids for driver behavior studies, including special population; a full-motion driving simulation facility for high-fidelity investigations of driver interaction with roadway systems; instrumented vehicles of field observations on actual user populations and specific types of vehicle use; and autonomous vehicles for investigating human interaction with such technologies and integration of vehicles with the existing roadway infrastructure.

Human Factors Faculty

Research Resource Development

Full Motion Driving Simulator

  • Integration of hexapod, vehicle cab, visualization frame, displays and supporting technological resources.
  • Hexapod – Facilitates 6 DOFs of motion (3 rotations and 3 translations) synchronized with virtual vehicle motion in simulation software.

Simulator Vehicle Cab

  • 1/4 cab setup
  • Full-size driving controls are interfaced with simulation software for virtual vehicle control.
  • Simulation software delivers motion cueing to hexapod.
  • Programmable driver interface buttons are available for automation functions (e.g., ACC, LKA, etc.).

Anticipated Integration (atop hexapod)

  • 80/20 (aluminum) display frame structure
    • Allows for adjustable mounting of displays (for driver height)
    • 8 high-definition displays surrounding driver
    • View of simulated terrain moves with cab as in real vehicle driving
  • Steel I-beam frame to be fabricated in-house

Simulation Software

  • Forum8 – Complex highway environment modeling and interactive graphical simulation tool:
    • Supports elaborate highway and urban arterial models
    • Many pre-built 3D city models
    • Supports range of weather, lighting and roadway condition models
    • Realistic vehicle dynamics model and wheel noise simulation
    • ADAS (advanced driver assistance systems) simulation (for R&D)
    • Compatible with several micro-simulation applications (can playback previously recorded vehicle motion)