Workload and Stress of Crews Operating Future Manned Vehicles

Report No. ARL-TR-4023
Authors: Bruce S. Sterling;Chuck H. Perala;Stephen F. Blaske
Date/Pages: February 2007; 30 pages
Abstract: This study examined workload and stress of crews operating future manned vehicles during virtual and live simulation and varied threat conditions. The effects, for live simulation only, of autonomous driving, crew position, and driving speed on workload and stress were also examined. Because of the small number of participants, only descriptive statistics were used. Results suggest that for the task of operating a vehicle and searching for and discriminating between dismounted noncombatants and enemy forces, live simulation was more stressful. The two levels of threat for enemy forces did not seem to substantially affect workload or stress, perhaps because the task loads under the two threat levels were not sufficiently different. Autonomous driving did not reduce workload or stress, particularly for the driver. Higher stress levels in the autonomous driving condition suggests that the implementation of autonomous driving in the CAT (Crew Integration and Automation Test Bed) vehicle was not appropriate for a scouting mission that required a precise level of speed control. There was also evidence of the gunner offloading work to the driver during autonomous driving. The gunner had higher workload (and to a lesser extent stress) than did the driver, especially in the higher threat condition where the gunner?s responsibilities were greater. Higher speed driving also resulted in higher stress and workload.
Distribution: Approved for public release
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Last Update / Reviewed: February 1, 2007