Human Factors and Behavioural Science

The reactions, preferences and behaviour of transport users play a critical role in effective, safe transport system design. By appropriately evaluating user behaviour we provide critical insights to help optimise their transport systems and understand how to encourage behavioural change.

Engineering, education and enforcement are all ways to improve transport efficiency and safety. Picking the right approach has to be based on a clear understanding of user needs and capabilities. We have a huge range of past and current projects focused on road user behaviour and performance. In our work, we apply the optimal mix of experimental facilities and real world observational evaluation techniques to deliver vital insights that support investment or policy decisions.

We’re trusted, respected and tailored: TRL’s extensive behavioural science knowledge, specialist testing facilities and independent status make us a research partner of choice for both the private and the public sector

Market-leading, independent research and testing

Our enviable reputation in the field of transport research makes us a respected provider of behavioural science insight. We have market leading best practice to draw on in every area of transport, helping us design effective trials that produce actionable data and findings. Our reports and analyses are trusted all over the world for their rigour, detail and accuracy.

Driving Simulator

A road user behaviour research and validation tool that puts people at the heart of the solution.

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The impact of driver behaviour on new technology performance

New technologies with exciting potential are flooding the market. But we can’t know the true value of advanced Human Machine Interface (HMI), Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) and automated vehicles without understanding how drivers will behave as they use them. Our behavioural science studies help predict challenges and risks to improve system design. We also assess driver responses to new physical infrastructure designs, so that they can be optimised for a broad range of user needs.

Distractions and driving performance

Our behavioural studies have shown the relative effects of different kinds of distraction and impairment, including music, smartphones, passengers, alcohol, drugs and fatigue. Our insights help manufacturers to design safe, intuitive systems that are more compatible with the driving task. They also help governments develop regulation and legislation for optimum consumer safety.

A wide range of measurement and study techniques

TRL’s team includes psychologists and ergonomics experts who observe reactions in a range of ways. We can observe usage in the real world, or in a driving simulator in one of our highly equipped experimental laboratories. Specialised equipment like eye-tracking, occlusion goggles, muscle activity measurement tools and instrumented vehicles, recording and analysis equipment all play their part in comprehensive human factors analyses.

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