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.
’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
About the Series
Human Factors in Road and Rail Transport
Today's society confronts major land transport problems. Human and financial costs of road vehicle crashes and rail incidents are increasing, with road vehicle crashes predicted to become the third largest cause of death and injury globally by 2020. Several social trends pose threats to safety, including increasing vehicle ownership and traffic congestion, advancing technological complexity at the human-vehicle interface, population ageing in the developed world, and ever greater numbers of younger vehicle drivers in the developing world. Ashgate's Human Factors in Road and Rail Transport series makes a timely contribution to these issues by focusing on human and organisational aspects of road and rail safety. The series responds to increasing demands for safe, efficient, economical and environmentally-friendly land-based transport. It does this by reporting on state-of-the-art science that may be applied to reduce vehicle collisions and improve vehicle usability as well as enhancing driver wellbeing and satisfaction. It achieves this by disseminating new theoretical and empirical research generated by specialists in the behavioural and allied disciplines, including traffic and transportation psychology, human factors and ergonomics. The series addresses such topics as driver behaviour and training, in-vehicle technology, driver health and driver assessment. Specially commissioned works from internationally recognised experts provide authoritative accounts of leading approaches to real-world problems in this important field.
BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
- COMPUTERS / User Interfaces
- POLITICAL SCIENCE / Labor & Industrial Relations
- TECHNOLOGY & ENGINEERING / Industrial Engineering
- TECHNOLOGY & ENGINEERING / Industrial Health & Safety