UF & UAB's Phase II Demonstration Study: Developing a Model to Support Transportation System Decisions Considering the Experiences of Drivers of All Age Groups with Autonomous Vehicle Technology (Project A3)

Monday, August 22, 2022 - 20:15

The deployment of autonomous vehicle (AV) technologies may hold health and safety benefits for drivers across the driving lifespan (>18 years of age). However, up until now, the perceptions of such drivers about AVs have not been examined with a combined approach of using surveys and pre- and post-exposure to the actual technology. Lived experiences of drivers engaging with AV technologies, i.e., experiencing a driving simulator in autonomous mode and riding in an autonomous shuttle (AS), in combination with surveys, can more accurately reveal the perceptions of drivers toward AV technologies. This project (Phase 2) had two objectives: (1) Quantify the younger and middle-age drivers’ perceptions of AVs before and after “driving” a simulator (Level 4, SAE Guidelines) and after riding in a highly AS (Level 4, SAE Guidelines); and (2) Deliver predictive models of facilitators and barriers from data collected in Phase 1 (older drivers; N=104, Mage= 74.30, SD= 5.95) and Phase 2 (younger and middle-age drivers; N=106, Mage= 36.22, SD= 15.04), combined. The study included three different age cohorts, i.e., younger, middle-age, and older drivers. As such, the findings reveal important foundational information about driver acceptance, their intention to use AVs, barriers to AV technology, and well-being related to AV technology across the driving lifespan. Particularly, our findings have generated new knowledge and documented how demographics, optimism, ease of use, life space, driving exposure, and driving difficulty—not previously examined to this extent in the AV and driver literature—inform the field of the predictors of AV acceptance. We have provided strategies that may inform mobility managers, policy makers, and industry partners alike in improving upon deployment practices of AV technology (autonomous simulator and the AS) for the near future. The report can be downloaded from the University of Florida web site at https://stride.ce.ufl.edu/wp-content/uploads/sites/153/2022/08/STRIDE-Final-Report-Project-A3-Classen-S..pdf


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