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A Manual Control Test for the Detection and Deterrence of Impaired DriversA brief manual control test and a decision strategy were developed, laboratory tested, and field validated which provide a means for detecting human operator impairment from alcohol or other drugs. The test requires the operator to stabilize progressively unstable controlled element dynamics. Control theory and experimental data verify that the human operator's control ability on this task is constrained by basic cybernetic characteristics, and that task performance is reliably affected by impairment effects on these characteristics. Assessment of human operator control ability is determined by a statistically based decision strategy. The operator is allowed several chances to exceed a preset pass criterion. Procedures are described for setting the pass criterion based on individual ability and a desired unimpaired failure rate. These procedures were field tested with apparatus installed in automobiles that were designed to discourage drunk drivers from operating their vehicles. This test program demonstrated that the control task and detection strategy could be applied in a practical setting to screen human operators for impairment in their basic cybernetic skills.
Document ID
Document Type
Conference Paper
Stein, A. C.
(Systems Technology, Inc. Hawthorne, CA, United States)
Allen, R. W.
(Systems Technology, Inc. Hawthorne, CA, United States)
Jex, H. R.
(Systems Technology, Inc. Hawthorne, CA, United States)
Date Acquired
August 12, 2013
Publication Date
September 1, 1984
Publication Information
Publication: NASA. Ames Research Center 20th Ann. Conf. on Manual Control, Vol. 2
Subject Category
Man/System Technology And Life Support
Accession Number
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.
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