Public Release: 

Paper on haptic steering support winner of 2014 Human Factors Prize

Human Factors and Ergonomics Society

The Human Factors and Ergonomics Society congratulates Bastiaan Petermeijer, David Abbink, and Joost de Winter on receiving the 2014 Human Factors Prize for their article, "Should Drivers Be Operating Within an Automation-Free Bandwidth? Evaluating Haptic Steering Support Systems With Different Levels of Authority." The authors will be awarded the $10,000 cash prize and publication of their paper in the Society's flagship journal, Human Factors. Petermeijer will present his work at a special session on Tuesday, October 28, at the upcoming HFES International Annual Meeting in Chicago.

The topic for this year's competition is human-automation interaction/autonomy, and articles were invited on human factors/ergonomics (HF/E) research pertaining to effective and satisfying interaction between humans and automation.

The winning paper compares how continuous versus bandwidth haptic steering guidance affects drivers' ability to stay in their lane as well as the overall level of drivers' satisfaction. The authors conducted a study in which participants drove five trials in a simulator with varying levels of haptic support, then evaluated which method was better at preventing errors and improving performance and satisfaction.

"My coauthors and I are absolutely delighted to have won the 2014 Human Factors Prize," said Petermeijer. "Our article investigates the fundamental topic of whether human operators should be supported continuously, or should be seen as satisfiers who need support only when acceptable tolerance limits are exceeded. By discussing the costs and benefits of both approaches, we attempt to promote critical thinking about automation support systems."

Submissions to the competition were judged on the importance of the implications for human-automation interaction/autonomy, originality of the research, contribution to the HF/E knowledge base, and soundness of the methodology.

"As automation becomes more prevalent in our society, it is becoming clear that we need to better understand how the person in the system integrates with the automation," said William S. Marras, who chairs the Human Factors Prize Board of Referees. "This work represents an important step forward in this understanding.

Bastiaan Petermeijer is a PhD candidate at the Lehrstuhl für Ergonomie of the Technische Universität München, Germany. Bastiaan obtained his MSc in biomechanical engineering-automotive at the Delft University of Technology in March 2014. His research in the Marie Curie ITN HFauto project investigates human factors in highly automated driving. Bastiaan's PhD will focus on developing and evaluating a haptic interface to mitigate out-of-the-loop issues.

David Abbink received an MSc degree in 2002 and a PhD in mechanical engineering in 2006 from Delft University of Technology. His doctoral dissertation, "Neuromuscular Analysis of Haptic Feedback During Car Following," was the culmination of a project for Nissan, where he helped develop and evaluate a force-feedback gas pedal to support drivers with car following. Currently he is a co-principal investigator on the H-Haptics project and an associate professor at TU Delft, senior member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), founding cochair of the IEEE-SMC Technical Committee on Shared Control, and associate editor for IEEE Transaction on Human-Machine Systems.

Joost de Winter is a tenured assistant professor of Mechanical, Maritime, and Materials Engineering at the Delft University of Technology. He obtained an MSc in aerospace engineering in 2004 and a PhD focusing on driver training and assessment in 2009 from the Delft University of Technology. De Winter has authored more than 40 journal articles and has secured a prestigious VENI grant, awarded to young scientists in the Netherlands. He supervises PhD students in the Marie Curie Initial Training Network (ITN) projects HFAuto (Human Factors of Automated Driving) and MOTORIST (MOTOrcycle Rider Integrated SafeTy).


For more information on the Human Factors Prize, visit or contact HFES Communications Director Lois Smith (; 310/394-1811).

The topic for the 2015 Human Factors Prize is human factors and sustainability. Additional information will be forthcoming, so bookmark the Human Factors Prize Web page and check back soon.

The Human Factors and Ergonomics Society is the world's largest scientific association for human factors/ergonomics professionals, with more than 4,800 members globally. HFES members include psychologists and other scientists, designers, and engineers, all of whom have a common interest in designing systems and equipment to be safe and effective for the people who operate and maintain them. "Human Factors and Ergonomics: People-Friendly Design Through Science and Engineering"

Plan to attend the HFES 2014 International Annual Meeting, October 27-31, Hyatt Regency Chicago.

Disclaimer: AAAS and EurekAlert! are not responsible for the accuracy of news releases posted to EurekAlert! by contributing institutions or for the use of any information through the EurekAlert system.