An Introduction to Human Factors

Human Factors

Human Factors is a field that is not well known to the general public, but it plays an essential role in the design of vehicles that we use on a daily basis. This multi-disciplined field studies how humans interact with vehicles and uses this knowledge to optimise vehicle design for the safety, comfort, and experience…

Human Factors is a field that is not well known to the general public, but it plays an essential role in the design of vehicles that we use on a daily basis. This multi-disciplined field studies how humans interact with vehicles and uses this knowledge to optimise vehicle design for the safety, comfort, and experience of all occupants.

What is Human Factors?

The multi-disciplined field of Human Factors is the study of how human beings interact with vehicles and how the vehicle design can be optimised to improve the overall safety, comfort and experience of all the occupants. It covers aspects of Engineering, Ergonomics, Biomechanics, Psychology and other disciplines to achieve these improvements.

What are some of the critical areas that Human Factors will study?

Ergonomics The Ergonomics aspect focuses on the design of the seating, controls, and display to facilitate the physical and cognitive abilities of the occupants. By covering the considerations of switch and display placement, control placement and seat comfort the overall user experience is enhanced.

Regulations & Safety To adhere to the ever-increasing constraints defined by automotive standards, Human Factor teams can undertake studies and understand how drivers will react to driving conditions, warning systems and safety features. This will include studying factors such as visual perception and reaction times. All of this is done whilst meeting global regulations and standards.

Driver Behaviour By studying how drivers will behave whilst behind the wheel, including how drivers react to fatigue, external stimulations and workload engineers can take the insights from the study and make informed design decisions to reduce distractions and increase safety.

Accessibility and Inclusivity With most vehicles being released to the global market, the global population needs to be accounted for during the development cycle. This means ensuring that the needs of individuals with varying physical abilities and disabilities are considered and that the vehicle controls and features are suitable for the largest possible percentage of potential users.

What is the end goal of Human Factor Studies?

To design products and technologies that provide a simplified user experience, that are accessible to the majority whilst meeting global regulations.

What are the challenges faced by Human Factor teams?

Whilst developing a new vehicle the human factors team face numerous challenges such as complying with regulations, balancing safety and innovation, as well as the challenge of adhering to complex surface and style designs.

What are the benefits of conducting Human Factor Studies?

Conducting human factor studies allows organisations to improve the overall user experience of their vehicles that have enhanced comfort, improve vehicle safety and are more accessible to the wider population. This all helps reduce driver distractions and stress and make the roads a safer place, as well as the improvement of customer satisfaction.

 

Written by Luke Howard 

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Luke Howard is a seasoned Senior Account Manager based in the UK with over 8 years of experience in delivering CAD and PLM solutions to Automotive and Aerospace companies.

Luke’s approach is rooted in solving customer challenges and driving their initiatives. He provides client-centric solutions, prioritising the success of his partners and clients.

Beyond his professional life, Luke’s passions extend to both the world of car design and photography. He’s constantly intrigued by the latest innovations and technologies in the automotive industry, and he has an eye for capturing moments through the lens.

Luke welcomes connections and discussions on how he can assist you in achieving your goals or share insights into the fascinating world of automotive and aerospace.