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Consumer Information on Automated Driving Drives Up Expectations

September 30, 2020

A new study conducted by Westat for the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety shows that information about partially automated driving systems can have a substantial impact on drivers’ expectations of those systems’ capabilities. Jeremiah Singer and James Jenness, Ph.D., co-authored the study’s recently released findings.

Westat recruited 90 drivers to learn about and drive a vehicle that can control its speed and lane position without the driver doing anything. Half of participants received training that emphasized the capabilities of the technology, while half received training that emphasized the limitations of the technology.

Results show that participants who received capability-emphasized training were much more likely to have unrealistically high expectations of the technology’s ability to avoid collisions. Many of the differences between the 2 groups persisted after they experienced the driving automation technology on a 35-minute freeway drive.

Results underscore the importance of providing consumer-oriented information about driving automation that is not only technically accurate but also balanced in terms of describing capabilities and limitations.

Learn more: Impact of Information on Consumer Understanding of a Partially Automated Driving System


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