Conference Proceeding

Effect of Alert Presentation Mode and Hazard Direction on Driver Takeover from an Autonomous Vehicle

  • Benjamin Cortens (University of Guelph)
  • Blair Nonnecke (University of Guelph)
  • Lana M Trick (University of Guelph)


Autonomous vehicles are becoming increasingly common. Although the level of automation varies between vehicles even the most advanced occasionally require driver input when the driving situation is complex, or the quality of the sensory data is poor. If driver input is needed the system must alert drivers that they will have to take over but these alerts may vary in their effectiveness in prompting rapid driver takeover (time to grip the steering wheel, percentage of appropriate takeover maneuvers) and situational awareness (driver attention to the threat that necessitated take over and understanding for why take over is necessary). In this study, we used a driving simulator operating in autonomous mode to compare 2 alert types (audio-visual, and audio alone) in 3 different takeover scenarios where hazards emerged from the front (a construction zone) or the left or right side (erratic behaviour in another driver: a rogue vehicle heading toward the drivers’ lane). We found that the takeover-time was faster after the audio-visual alert than the audio alert and situation awareness was better. The nature and direction of the hazard also had an effect. Situation awareness was poorer for hazards in front of the vehicle (a looming construction zone) as compared to the left and right of the driver (rogue vehicles heading toward the driver). These findings have important implications for interface design in autonomous vehicles.

How to Cite:

Cortens, B. & Nonnecke, B. & Trick, L., (2019) “Effect of Alert Presentation Mode and Hazard Direction on Driver Takeover from an Autonomous Vehicle”, Driving Assessment Conference 10(2019), 133-139. doi:

Rights: Copyright © 2019 the author(s)

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Published on
25 Jun 2019
Peer Reviewed