The VRA partner (University of Leeds) will organise a Workshop “The Valley of Confusion: Bridging the Automation Gap” during the 7th International Conference on Automotive User Interfaces and Interactive Vehicular Applications which will be held in Nottingham, UK, September 1–3, 2015.

Please find below more information on the Workshop.

For additional details please refers to the following website:

The Valley of Confusion: Bridging the Automation Gap

The aim of this workshop is to discuss the challenges facing designers and human factors experts with respect to the development of appropriate auto UI in a fast developing landscape of vehicle automation.  For automated systems in vehicles to be used appropriately, and in order to avoid misuse and abuse of vehicle automation by drivers, designers must consider factors such as how to provide appropriate feedback by the UI, and how to ensure suitable interaction between the system and user. Trust of the system also plays an important role in driver acceptance and use.  In order to assign relevant responsibility and  help understand the capabilities and limitations of both the automated system and the driver, organisations such as NHTSA (2013) and SAE (2014) have developed documents describing various ‘levels of automation’, which encourages the use of a common language across a multidisciplinary group of stakeholders. Notwithstanding the legal guidelines in this area, a particular challenge for human factors experts and UI designers alike is a clear understanding of the division of responsibility between the automated system and the driver. With manufacturers currently moving towards the development of vehicles with automation levels 2 and 3, understanding how to convey the correct information to drivers about system capabilities and assigning the correct responsibility to each actor in different driving conditions and environments is essential.

The workshop will start with a demonstration of a number of automated systems currently in the market, and discuss their relevance and link to levels of vehicle automation.  Workshop attendees will have the chance to provide information about their own experiences and insights in this area.  The workshop will conclude with three exercises:

Exercise 1—Levels and dimensions of vehicle automation

Exercise 2—Calibrating trust in automation

Exercise 3—Interface design for automation

Registration for the main conference is mandatory for all workshop participants, but there are no additional costs for attending the workshop beyond the main conference registration fee. Please note the workshop is limited to 30 attendees.


James Foley is a Senior Principal Engineer at Toyota’s Collaborative Safety Research Center in Ann Arbor, MI. He conducts research in traffic safety and human behaviour with a variety of Universities throughout North America. He is active in SAE Safety and Human Factors Steering Committee and ISO WG8.

John Leeis the Emerson Electric professor in the Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and director of the Cognitive Systems Laboratory. His work addresses how to improve human-automation interaction in a variety of domains. He recently helped edit The Oxford Handbook of Cognitive Engineering, the Handbook of Driving Simulation for Engineering, Medicine, and Psychology.

Natasha Merat is Associate Professor at the Institute for Transport Studies, University of Leeds, UK.  She has a background in psychology and during the past 15 years she has worked on a number of projects using the University of Leeds Driving Simulator to understand the interaction between drivers and new technologies.  In recent years Natasha has been studying the implications of increasing vehicle automation on driver behaviour and performance.


NHTSA (2014).  National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration, U.S. Department of Transportation Releases Policy on Automated Vehicle Development.


SAE International (2014). Automated driving levels of driving automation are defined in new SAE International Standard  J3016.  See: