This report presents the results of a one year comprehensive human factors analysis on the prototype
Delco RDS device supplied by the Minnesota Department of Transportation. RDS devices provide a
means of transmitting traffic information to motorist using the existing Traffic Management Center's
resources. This study examined the devices and the means of transmitting information using ergonomic
and human factors principles. This study expanded upon the functions of these devices and their ability to
transmit information, as well as their integration within the automobile. The study was completed by
examining the data entry tasks required to transmit messages and the TMC's operations as pertaining to
messages and delivery to the end-users.
Five tasks were completed with the following findings: Ergonomically, the prototype device requires
further refinement to provide a user friendly interface. Linkage analysis and flow charting extracted areas
where operations of the device was impeded by design. Simulation and on-road study elicited difficulty in
operating the device while maintaining driving proficiency. Highly significant deviations were found
between normal driving behavior and driving performance when simultaneously operating the device. This
suggests an increase in attentional demand which is placed on the driver operating the device when they
should be focused on the task of driving. Finally, assessment of data entry personnel and the TMC
operations found several areas for improvement in the CrusaderTM message assembly program interface
and message content.
Recommendations are provided following each task.
Burus, Max; Johnson, Sara M.; Williams, Gayna; Stackhouse, Stirling.
Human factors evaluation of the Delco RDS radio receiver and the RDS architecture.
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