Operator fatigue is a significant cause of operational errors in aviation and ground transportation, posing a serious threat to transportation safety.
A wide range of non-invasive fatigue detection methods including several objective eye-tracking metrics have been explored in the transportation field. The development of eye movement-based fatigue detection technology for use in real world applications has been hampered by discrepancies between the results of existing studies.
The research aim is to address this issue by exploring which eye metrics most effectively indicate operator fatigue, with the intention of assisting fatigue detection in air and ground transport. In this study, eye movement data was collected while operators attended to their tasks.
Features of their eye movements were then analysed to explore correlations with their subjective state to identify which features best indicate fatigue. Successfully identifying eye movement-related fatigue indicators could identify the presence of fatigue in transport operations, which could then be used to prompt the operator to take a rest or even inform a third party that intervention is necessary. This could considerably enhance transport safety and reduce accidents caused by fatigue and human error.
Researcher: Xinyun Hu
Supervisor: Professor Gabriel Lodewijks
While many strategies target road safety on long trips, evidence suggests short regular (commuter) trips may also be subject to fatigue. Fatigue during commuting is an important problem at the nexus of workplace and road safety and has been identified as a major issue for the Aviation industry.
Students undertaking the research would complete a range of simulator and on-road studies measuring drowsiness (as an index of fatigue) under various sleep conditions.
Supervisor: Dr Carlo Caponecchia
Fatigue is a recognised hazard for drivers and people operating any form of transport, playing a role in up to 30 per cent of crashes. While there is general agreement about its effects, the causes of fatigue remain a contentious issue.
Two broad classes of fatigue causes have been identified: endogenous causes are primarily sleep-related, while exogenous causes refer to the characteristics of an activity or task. To date it has been difficult to distinguish the effects of each cause because most studies of fatigued performance incorporate both factors.
The main aim of this research includes:
The findings will contribute to road safety and operator safety more broadly by providing a fuller understanding of the mechanisms of operator fatigue and by identifying possible avenues for fatigue minimisation.
Researcher: Rainer Zeller
Supervisor: Emeritus Professor Ann Williamson