The Measurement of Human Response in Man-Vehicle Control Situations

  • J. M. Rolfe
Part of the NATO Conference Series book series (NATOCS, volume 1)


The objective of vehicle systems design is to achieve a balance between man and machine in order to obtain and maintain the vehicle’s efficiency. On one side of the balance are the requirements arising from the role for which the vehicle is designed. These will determine factors such as the vehicle’s complexity, its operational profile, and its size and shape. On the other side are factors determined by the decision to employ a man or men as part of the system. There are the psychological requirements for the identification and allocation of functions between man and machine, physiological requirements for survival and efficiency and physical requirements to ensure adequate workspace under both normal and emergency conditions. In achieving an acceptable balance between these factors it is appreciated that man has the capability of enhancing the quality of the system, but he also imposes restraints on its design. For example, because man cannot fly unaided, the aeroplane is designed specifically to exceed human capabilities, but the cockpit of the aeroplane must be designed with human limitations very much in mind in order that the flow of information between the machine and the man and the return of man’s responses to the machine may be effective.


Secondary Task Vehicle System Mental Load Task Situation Passenger Comfort 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1976

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. M. Rolfe
    • 1
  1. 1.Royal Air Force Institute of Aviation MedicineFarnborough HampshireUK

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