Date of Award

Summer 8-2023

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)




Human Factors Psychology

Committee Director

Yusuke Yamani

Committee Member

Xiao Yang

Committee Member

Kun Xie


Many young drivers suffer fatal crashes each year in the United States at a rate approximately three times greater than more experienced drivers. Automated driving systems may serve to mitigate young drivers high crash rates but remain underexplored in research. This dissertation project examined the effects of levels of automation and interestingness of auditory clips on latent hazard anticipation in young drivers during simulated driving. Participants drove a vehicle at varying levels of vehicle automation (SAE Level 0, 2, or 3) in simulated scenarios, each containing a latent hazard event during which a boring, neutral, or interesting auditory clip was played. After completing all scenarios, participants completed an auditory stimuli recognition test and a questionnaire measuring the drivers’ calibration of their LHA performance. Results demonstrated that those in the L3 condition anticipated significantly fewer hazards than those in the L0 condition, corroborating previous research (Samuels et al., 2020). However, those in the L3 condition were also significantly poorer at anticipating latent hazards than those in the L2 condition, suggesting the importance of instruction on a drivers’ attentional allocation policy. A tradeoff was found between latent hazard anticipation and auditory recognition scores indicating the allocation of limited attentional resources as predicted by the Yamani and Horrey (2018) model. Interestingness of auditory stimuli had little to no effect on latent hazard anticipation. In general, automation may improve the multitasking ability of a young driver piloting L2 automation, but this benefit is lost for drivers of L3 automation. Instead, young drivers piloting L3 automation may anticipate latent hazards at rates as low as those observed in newly licensed drivers, and may be completely unaware of their failure to anticipate such hazards. The current research illustrates the criticality of user guidance when handling automated driving systems and serves as one step towards understanding the complex relationship between human drivers and automated systems.


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