Automated driving: Safety blind spots

Ian Y. Noy, David Shinar, William J. Horrey

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

163 Scopus citations


Driver assist technologies have reached the tipping point and are poised to take control of most, if not all, aspects of the driving task. Proponents of automated driving (AD) are enthusiastic about its promise to transform mobility and realize impressive societal benefits. This paper is an attempt to carefully examine the potential of AD to realize safety benefits, to challenge widely-held assumptions and to delve more deeply into the barriers that are hitherto largely overlooked. As automated vehicle (AV) technologies advance and emerge within a ubiquitous cyber-physical world they raise additional issues that have not yet been adequately defined, let alone researched. Issues around automation, sociotechnical complexity and systems resilience are well known in the context of aviation and space. There are important lessons that could be drawn from these applications to help inform the development of automated driving. This paper argues that for the foreseeable future, regardless of the level of automation, a driver will continue to have a role. It seems clear that the benefits of automated driving, safety and otherwise, will accrue only if these technologies are designed in accordance with sound cybernetics principles, promote effective human-systems integration and gain the trust by operators and the public.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)68-78
Number of pages11
JournalSafety Science
StatePublished - 1 Feb 2018


  • Automated driving
  • Autonomous vehicles
  • Driver-vehicle interaction
  • Psychology
  • Safety

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality
  • Safety Research
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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