SAE International defines six levels of autonomous driving system, four of which include a change of control from the system to the driver in certain conditions. When vehicle control changes from the system to a human driver, a safe transition time is necessary. The present study focuses on level 3 automation, in which the system controls driving in ordinary conditions, but the human driver is expected to intervene in emergency situations. The aim of this study was to investigate the relationship between driver posture and transition time. Driver posture included four components: backrest angle, seat position, foot position, and arm position. These were adjusted to investigate a total of 30 posture patterns. In addition, the situation in which the driver was not watching the road, but instead using a tablet computer was investigated. The driver's braking and steering reaction times were measured for a highway-driving scenario in which a truck dropped cargo in front of the vehicle. Acoustic and optical warnings were presented to the driver when the autonomous driving system was disengaging. The results showed that the driver's foot position most strongly affected braking reaction time. The driver resting their chin on their hands most strongly affected steering reaction time. This research clarified the effect of relaxed driver posture on reaction time and, thus, transition time.
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