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DRIVERS & DRIVING

As we enter the new millennium, new vehicle automation devices are being offered by major motor manufacturers. Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) has been released in the last year, offering total longitudinal control of the vehicle. Soon, we will see lateral control devices such as Active Steering (AS) taking to the roads. During the development o f these devices, a number of papers have been published detailing the technology, control strategies, and modelling techniques involved (e.g., Richardson et al, 1997). However, it seems that the ergonomics community has not kept pace with their engineering counterparts, with few publications about the effects o f vehicle automation on the driver (for exceptions see Bloomfield and Carroll, 1996; Stanton et al, 1997, Young and Stanton, 1997). In particular, none of the research to date has investigated whether driver skill is an important factor in determining the impact o f automation in future vehicles.