New Toyota projects to study societal acceptance of CAV technologies

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Toyota’s Collaborative Safety Research Center (CSRC) has announced five new research projects focused on better understanding how drivers use and respond to advanced vehicle technologies, including automated driver assistance systems (ADAS).

The new projects, undertaken in partnership with five US research institutions, will launch as part of CSRC Next, the Center’s new five-year program designed to support and inform a safe transition to future mobility concepts. Emerging vehicle technologies, such as connected and autonomous vehicles (CAV), offer tremendous promise to help improve road safety, but important questions remain about the most beneficial interaction with drivers, and how they can be educated about their safe operation. Four of the five research projects will focus on societal acceptance and generate data-driven insights into the use of these technologies. The collected data can help support their effective integration, foster safer driving behaviors, and offer potential countermeasures to risky driving behavior.

The new projects are:

George Mason University – Research aimed at objectively determining (through neuroergonomic methods) how different factors impact mental model development and evolution of advanced safety technologies; Rockville Institute – Create a taxonomy of mental model development of automotive safety technologies, by determining in a naturalistic driving setting how users develop and maintain mental models as AV safety technologies are integrated into the vehicle; University of Washington – Develop analytical models that can capture and identify changes in driver performance that are indicative of risk mitigation behavior, and to assess the effectiveness of behavioral countermeasures aimed at curbing future risk; University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute – Create a set of guidelines that can be used to inform the development of risky-driving countermeasures that lead to sustained behavioral change. Identify the underlying constructs of current, and future, risky behaviors, and ascertain the behavior change theories that are mostly likely to create lasting change; San Francisco State University – Provide a proof-of-concept that appropriate behaviors toward perceived risks can be generated automatically and effortlessly after a short form of training that links stimuli to adaptive behavioral dispositions.

“The development of advanced vehicle technologies may be progressing faster than the ability of some people to fully understand their capabilities, and it’s important to identify how drivers actually understand and use these emerging systems,” said Chuck Gulash, CSRC’s director. “By working with our partner institutions, and openly sharing our insights with the broader automotive, government, NGO and technology communities, we believe we can help progress society’s acceptance of these new and promising technologies.”

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Tom has edited Traffic Technology International magazine and the Traffic Technology Today website since he joined the company in May 2014. Prior to this he worked on some of the UK's leading consumer magazine titles including Men's Health and Glamour, beginning his career in journalism in 1997 after graduating with a law degree from the London School of Economics (LSE).

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