Level 2 (L2) driving automation systems that maintain latitudinal and longitudinal control of the vehicle decrease mental workload and result in drivers failing to monitor and respond to potential roadway hazards. This issue is potentially important for young drivers with symptoms of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) since they have known difficulties anticipating and mitigating potential hazards on the road, a skill which requires attention. The objective of this study is to investigate how the use of partially automated (L2) systems and manual systems impacts hazard anticipation and mitigation among young drivers with varying levels of ADHD symptomatology. Sixty-eight drivers, classified into two groups – high and low ADHD symptomatology-navigated twice through three scenarios on a driving simulator, once with an L2 and once with a manual system. The results indicated that: (i) the hazard anticipation skills of drivers with both high and low ADHD symptomatology were depressed in the L2 condition relative to the manual condition; (ii) the hazard mitigations skills of drivers with both high and low ADHD symptomatology were depressed in the L2 condition relative to the manual condition on two measures, but improved on a third measure; and (iii) the hazard anticipation and mitigation skills of drivers with high and low ADHD symptomatology were differentially impacted, both within and across the two levels of automation. Taken together, the results indicate the pernicious and often hard to predict consequences of higher levels of automation for different populations of younger drivers.
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