Unraveling Metro Train Driver's Work: Challenges in Automation Concept

Hannu Karvonen, Iina Aaltonen, Mikael Wahlström, Leena Salo, Paula Savioja, Leena Norros

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionScientificpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Motivation - We focused on the question: "What is the significance of the train driver in the metro system?" We were especially interested in challenges related to an automation concept of a driverless metro. Research approach - Metro train drivers' work and the metro system as a whole was examined in interview and field observation studies based on the core-task analysis method. Afterward, a mirror data workshop was organised. Findings/Design - We describe the diversity of metro train driver's work: in addition to accelerating or braking and door opening or closing, the driver contributes to a variety of other functions in the metro system. For example, the driver maintains an awareness of the surrounding environment and facilitates communication between different actors of the system. Research limitations/Implications - The participants for both the interview (N=12) and field observation study (N=4) were chosen in advance by the metro organisation. The small sample in the observation study might have also affected the results. Originality/Value - Our paper analyses the role of the driver in the metro system. The results suggest that a change to a driverless system can affect the quality of service and raise safety issues. The results can be applied to automation implementations also in other domains. Take away message - There is more to driving a metro train than meets the eye.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe 28th European Conference on Cognitive Ergonomics
Place of PublicationDelft, the Netherlands
PublisherMediamatica. Delft University of Technology
ISBN (Print)9789490818043
Publication statusPublished - 2010
MoE publication typeA4 Article in a conference publication
EventEuropean Conference on Cognitive Ergonomics - Delft, Netherlands
Duration: 25 Aug 201027 Aug 2010
Conference number: 28


ConferenceEuropean Conference on Cognitive Ergonomics
Abbreviated titleECCE

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