Objective: Automated Truck-Mounted Attenuators (ATMAs) have the potential to improve work zone safety by removing the human driver out of a vehicle that is positioned in work zones to absorb impact from errant vehicles. However, this automated technology is expensive and can be detrimental to safety and project success if operated incorrectly (e.g., operating limitations and procedures not followed). Therefore, it is important to understand users’ perceptions of ATMAs and how training can improve appropriate adoption of this technology. The objective of this study was to evaluate how work zone workers perceive the usefulness of and the capabilities of automation in Truck Mounted Attenuators.
Methods: A survey study was conducted with 13 Department of Transportation (DOT) workers in Colorado and California. Each of the DOT workers in this study had some previous experience with the ATMA, either in real-world applications and/or formal training. The survey collected information on participant job specifications, experience with the ATMA, training received, trust in the ATMA, usability of the HMIs, and operating capabilities of the automation.
Results: Workers reported an overall positive acceptance of this technology. This was supported by their expectation that it would reduce crash severity; that there was a reasonable workload associated with operating procedures for the automation; and by their overall trust in the automation’s reliability. However, workers noted concerns regarding their trust in the automation under various contexts, such as poor visibility and denser traffic volumes. Further, trust in the technology was greatest among workers with higher levels of ATMA training and longer experience working with the ATMA.
Conclusions: This research presents a novel perspective on user acceptance of ATMA technology. These findings can help jurisdictions achieve the safety improvements that investment and deployment of automation in work zones offers, by identifying the disconnect between operators and technology.
Publication Date: 2021
Source URL: Link to URL
Publication Types: Books, Reports, Papers, and Research Articles
Topics: Acceptance; Automation; Connected Vehicles; Maintenance Personnel; Perception; Truck-Mounted Attenuators; Work Zone Safety; Work Zones