Appendix D Amplifying Questions
The scan team wishes to learn how countries plan, develop, and conduct human factors studies and research pertaining to roadway design and operations, and how the results are put in practice by design and traffic engineers and others responsible for roadway infrastructure and operations. The team wishes to meet highway researchers, research psychologists, and others involved with human factors research of highway design and operations, as well as transport managers responsible for considering and incorporating human factors results in the actual practice of roadway design and operations.
The team wishes to spend about equal times in discussions with these two groups. The team further desires to spend equal time within these two groups in discussions, as well as viewing actual practices. Accordingly, time would be spent with researchers in viewing simulators and other research methods. For roadway engineers and practitioners, the team would benefit from viewing how human factors research is incorporated into their work products, such as roadway design and traffic control devices plans, or from visiting actual roadways where human factors studies resulted in a redesign or special treatment to the roadway.
The following are the amplifying questions for the scan study:
Topic 1: To assemble information on how human factors (HF) issues are considered in the practice of design and operations of roadways.
- How is HF research used to evaluate existing or new roadway design and operation countermeasures to improve safety and mobility?
- What specific HF research projects have yielded the highest payoff for roadway design and operations?
- How do in-vehicle and roadway technologies interact?
- Have any HF research projects demonstrated the utility of the concept of self-organizing roads?
Topic 2: To find out how human factors issues are communicated to roadway design and operations engineers and practitioners and how users communicate their needs.
- How are HF research needs defined and prioritized?
- How are results of HF research incorporated into national roadway design and operations standards, guidelines, and recommended practices?
- What specific HF research projects, if any, have had consideration given to implementation/deployment strategies as part of the research process?
Topic 3: Driving simulators as a human factors research tool.
- What specific projects have used simulators to study roadway design and operations?
- How have simulators been used to evaluate traffic control devices or warning devices?
- How have simulator studies been validated?
- What levels of simulator fidelity are necessary for this research?
- How do "good results" on simulator studies get used in real-world situations?
- How have simulators been used to train novice or older drivers?
Topic 4: Other human factors research methods useful in studying roadway design and operations.
- What are the relative costs and benefits of focus group, test track, on-road, and simulator HF research?
- What specific projects, if any, have used cognitive models of the driver?
- What human factors research methods are used?
Topic 5: To learn how the human factors research process is sustained and improved.
- How are HF research projects monitored for quality?
- Is there a methodology to predict anticipated benefits resulting from HF research?
- How is the proficiency of the HF staff maintained and improved?
- How does HF staff interact with other roadway design and operations professionals?
- What are the vision and goals of the HF group?
- What is the role, if any, of multidisciplinary teams in the development of research topics and plans?
Topic 6: To discover human factors success stories that can be used to quickly improve roadway design and operations.
- What specific HF projects have yielded the highest payoff?
- What roadway design and operation improvements have been implemented based on HF research?
- Are there any specific human factors research results that can be applied to the following:
- Users (pedestrians, bicyclists, persons with disabilities, older and younger drivers, etc.)
- Traffic control devices (signs, markings, etc.)
- Operations (intersections, speed management, etc.)