Rapid advancements in train control and in-cab technologies provide significant opportunities for rail operators to improve efficiency and enhance their operations. New technologies often provide elegant solutions to existing problems or new capabilities for the operator. However, new technologies may also represent a significant form of risk. Thus, it is important to balance the potential for significant improvement with justifiable concern about how the technology may unpredictably change the nature of the work. If a technology is designed and implemented without considering the substantive human factors concerns, that technology may lead to unintended consequences that can introduce safety issues and disrupt network performance. It is important to note that even a well-designed and beneficial technology may be rejected by the users who see it as a threat to their jobs, status or working conditions. This book discusses the issues surrounding rail technology and introduces a ’toolkit’ of human factors evaluation methods. The toolkit provides a practical and operationally focused set of methods that can be used by managers considering investing in technology, staff charged with implementing a technology, and consultants engaged to assist with the design and evaluation process. This toolkit can help to ensure that new rail technologies are thoughtfully designed, effectively implemented, and well received by users so that the significant investment associated with developing rail technologies is not wasted.
Foreword; Introduction: the promise and perils of new technology, Drew Dawson, Chris Bearman, Anjum Naweed and Gareth Hughes; Key technology-related human factors issues, Chris Bearman; Resistance to technology, Janette Rose and Chris Bearman; Effective user feedback: the practical value of mock-ups, Gareth Hughes, Airdrie Long, Anne Maddock and Chris Bearman; Qualitative research rules: using qualitative and ethnographic methods to access the human dimensions of technology, Kirrilly Thompson; Future enquiry: a participatory ergonomics approach to evaluating new technology, Verna Blewitt and Andrea Shaw; Using task analysis to inform the development and evaluation of new technologies, Janette Rose, Chris Bearman and Anjum Naweed; Evaluating your train simulator part I: the physical environment, Anjum Naweed, Ganesh Balakrishnan and Jillian Dorrian; Evaluating your train simulator part II: the task environment, Jillian Dorrian and Anjum Naweed; Applying the theories and measures of situation awareness to the rail industry, Janette Rose, Chris Bearman and Anne Maddock; Index.
’This is not a beginner’s guide to Human Factors but then the rail industry is no longer a beginner. It is a technical book, rich in detail and insight, but also one that has itself been designed for Human Use. It is easy to read, being in equal part a railway book as much as it is a human factors one.’ Rail Professional, December 2013