Assessing Constraints on Soldier Cognitive and Perceptual Motor Performance During Vehicle Motion

Report No. ARL-TR-4461
Authors: Jason S. Metcalfe, James A. Davis, Jr., Richard A. Tauson, and Kaleb McDowell
Date/Pages: May 2008; 43 pages
Abstract: Among the most significant challenges to implementing U.S. Army future force concepts are persistent human factors issues associated with staffing ground vehicles that are equipped with advanced capabilities including intelligent automation. This review is particularly concerned with understanding the influence of vehicle motion on the ability of Soldiers to perform goal-directed behaviors in future military vehicles. Because vehicle motion is a primary influence on the Soldier's performance, understanding the relationship between vehicle motion and performance is considered essential to solving the human factors problems brought about by implementation of advanced technologies in modern tactical vehicles. The review is organized in three main sections. First, a conceptual framework, alternately known as a systems perspective, is introduced as a way to analyze the problem of Soldier-vehicle performance in terms of delineating the constraints that influence goal-directed behavior within the military context. Second, this framework is then used to structure an overview of research on whole-body motion and human performance, with a particular emphasis on relationships that have most frequently been identified in empirical studies. In the third and final section, the available information is applied to the military context in specific reference to lessons learned from the formal studies, field tests, and demonstrations that have been conducted with experimental platforms such as the Bradley infantry fighting vehicle and the crew integration and automation test bed (CAT). Overall, the extant literature taken in the context of direct observations in military platforms leaves little doubt that occupation of moving vehicles will result in detriments to performance of essential tasks for vehicle control as well as other essential command and control functions such as target acquisition, route planning, and teleoperation of remote assets. It is suggested that continued research and development efforts will benefit greatly from formalization of a unified framework for understanding the complex interactions between the constraints affecting survivability and lethality of future Soldier-vehicle systems. Ideally, such a formalized framework would lead to the development of formal predictive models that lend to the identification of a central set of principles to guide progressive design decisions aimed at optimizing overall system performance.
Distribution: Approved for public release
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Last Update / Reviewed: May 1, 2008