Unraveling Metro Train Driver's Work: Challenges in Automation Concept

Hannu Karvonen, Iina Aaltonen, Mikael Wahlström, Leena Salo, Paula Savioja, Leena Norros

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference article in proceedingsScientificpeer-review

    6 Citations (Scopus)


    Motivation - We focused on the question: "What is the significance of the train driver in the metro system?" We were especially interested in challenges related to an automation concept of a driverless metro. Research approach - Metro train drivers' work and the metro system as a whole was examined in interview and field observation studies based on the core-task analysis method. Afterward, a mirror data workshop was organised. Findings/Design - We describe the diversity of metro train driver's work: in addition to accelerating or braking and door opening or closing, the driver contributes to a variety of other functions in the metro system. For example, the driver maintains an awareness of the surrounding environment and facilitates communication between different actors of the system. Research limitations/Implications - The participants for both the interview (N=12) and field observation study (N=4) were chosen in advance by the metro organisation. The small sample in the observation study might have also affected the results. Originality/Value - Our paper analyses the role of the driver in the metro system. The results suggest that a change to a driverless system can affect the quality of service and raise safety issues. The results can be applied to automation implementations also in other domains. Take away message - There is more to driving a metro train than meets the eye.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationProceedings of the 28th European Conference on Cognitive Ergonomics, ECCE 2010
    PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery ACM
    ISBN (Print)978-1-60558-946-6
    Publication statusPublished - 2010
    MoE publication typeA4 Article in a conference publication
    Event28th Annual European Conference on Cognitive Ergonomics, ECCE 2010 - Delft, Netherlands
    Duration: 25 Aug 201027 Aug 2010
    Conference number: 28


    Conference28th Annual European Conference on Cognitive Ergonomics, ECCE 2010
    Abbreviated titleECCE 2010


    • core-ask analysis
    • metro train driver work
    • automated metro
    • safety
    • automation concept


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