AgeLab’s Joe Coughlin Keynotes Annual TRB Human Factors Meeting

AgeLab’s Joe Coughlin Keynotes Annual TRB Human Factors Meeting

Joe Coughlin calls for new thinking on automation and the changing context of the transportation operator.

AgeLab Director Joe Coughlin keynoted the Annual Transportation Research Board's Human Factors Plenary Session held in Washington DC, January 11, 2015. Speaking before the gathering of industry leaders, government regulators, system operators and university researchers, his talk: “Automation and the Changing Context of the Transportation Operator;” cited four contextual factors that should receive significant attention in future research and development of automated systems both in transportation and countless other applications such as smart home environments, etc.

Coughlin noted that while automation offers great promise, its development and introduction into the existing transportation system must take into account the (1) aging of the population, (2) the changing nature of public trust both in institutions and technology, (3) the new priority that must be placed on lifelong learning to effectively and safely use automated systems; and, (4) the importance of operator health and well-being to safely interface with increasingly intelligent vehicles. His remarks build upon the body of work currently underway at the AgeLab on transportation and home automation applications sponsored, in part, by organizations such as the AARP, The Hartford, Toyota, and the United States Department Transportation’s New England University Transportation Center.


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