Cognition, Technology & Work

, Volume 20, Issue 3, pp 401–412 | Cite as

Design characteristics of a workload manager to aid drivers in safety–critical situations

  • Evona Teh
  • Samantha Jamson
  • Oliver Carsten
Original Article


The objective of this study was to evaluate a workload manager designed to supervise the presentation of in-vehicle information for two age groups of drivers during safety–critical situations. The benefits of a workload manager were compared in various dual-task conditions involving a preceding or a concurrent in-vehicle alert during critical traffic situations. Objective measures such as drivers’ brake response times and secondary task response times as well as subjective measures of driver workload were used. Although older drivers performed worse in the dual-task scenario with longer response times and poorer performance on the secondary task in comparison to the younger drivers, results indicated that both age groups benefited from the implementation of a workload manager. There was a consistent trend of improved driving and secondary task performance when the workload manager delayed non-critical information during safety–critical situations, indicating benefits for some otherwise distracted drivers. Implications for the design of a workload manager are discussed.


Workload manager Braking Secondary task Ageing Workload 



The authors wish to acknowledge the kind assistance of all participants in this study as well as the members of staff at the University of Leeds Driving Simulator (Tony Horrobin, Michael Daly). This research was conducted in collaboration with the Jaguar Land Rover Human Machine Interface Research Department team.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London Ltd., part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Special Vehicle OperationJaguar Land RoverKenilworthUK
  2. 2.Institute for Transport StudiesUniversity of LeedsLeedsUK

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