To Beep or Not to Beep: Developing a Non Fail-Safe Warning System in a Fail-Safe Train Protection Environment
Authors: Richard van der Weide, Kirsten Schreibers, Colete Weeda
Abstract: In The Netherlands the most deployed train protection system (ATB-EG) leaves a ‘gap’ below 40 km/h, leading to about 200 signals passed at danger per year. A new warning system (ORBIT) was to fill this gap to a large extent by warning the train driver when approaching a red signal at (too) high speed. ORBIT is not fail-safe, because it is based on GSM-R/UMTS communication and GPS. The design concept and different design solutions of this imperfect automated system were tested with 17 train drivers in a train simulator, and during four weeks in actual service on one route. Results indicate that ORBIT is effective in identifying hazardous situations. Train drivers accepted the warning system. They preferred a warning that is infrequent, diminishing uncertainty, but leaving just enough time to react adequately. A spoken warning was preferred to a tone warning. Results also indicated that minor adjustments in the algorithm were needed to avoid too many unnecessary warnings.
Keywords: Warning system, Train protection, Human System Integration, Alarm management, Imperfect automation
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