Driving with and without automation on the motorway–an observational study

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


User-related assessment of a level 3 automated driving system, providing functions such as lane- and distance-keeping, stop & go driving, lane change and overtaking, was carried out on a motorway in Germany with the aim to assess user-related issues of automated driving, i.e., behavior when driving with automation on motorways, user experiences, reactions and acceptance. Twenty-one persons drove twice along the test route once with the system switched off and once with the system active. Driving data were logged and driving behavior was observed by two observers in the car and the drivers answered questionnaires. The results revealed that the drivers used the system as it was intended to be used and that the system affected driving positively in several ways, resulting in better speed adaptation, less speed variation, better distance keeping, better lane choice, better indicator usage and fewer dangerous lane changes. No differences with regard to subjective workload were shown. The system was perceived as being both useful and satisfactory. However, it was found that the system did not react to other drivers’ intention to make a lane change, especially in situations where they were attempting to merge onto the motorway. Further development is needed to improve the system’s ability to recognize other vehicles’ intention to enter the vehicle’s own lane. Also, the phenomenon of the driver “feeling guilty” because of the system’s reckless behavior by not allowing other drivers to merge onto the motorway or hindering other cars behind due to lengthy overtaking should be investigated further.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Infrastructure Engineering


  • automated driving, driver behavior, effects, field tests, user opinions
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Intelligent Transportation Systems: Technology, Planning, and Operations
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2020 Mar 13
Publication categoryResearch