Nav: Home

Risk analysis releases special issue on the social science of automated driving

February 14, 2019

Risk Analysis, An International Journal has published a special issue, "Social Science of Automated Driving," which features several articles examining the human side of automated driving, focusing on questions about morality, the role of feeling, trust and risk perceptions.

Autonomous vehicles are more than just an improvement on existing vehicles, they are a brand new technology. The widespread acceptance and adoption of autonomous vehicles hinges less on the technological challenges of creating the vehicles and more on the attitudes and perception of the people the technology is intended to serve. Public uncertainty raises significant societal questions about safety, infrastructure spending, regulations, insurance law and more. This collection of papers underscores the key roles of consumer attitudes and perceptions of risk in understanding acceptance of autonomous vehicles.

The issue begins with an article that explores whether an autonomous vehicle should swerve or stay in its lane when confronted with a situation in which either action could result in a collision with a pedestrian. In two empirical studies, Meder and his colleagues found that most people generally preferred that the autonomous vehicle defaults to staying in its travel lane, especially when the likelihood of collision was unknown. This preference held up even in hindsight when a hypothetical accident had already occurred.

The next article, by Liu, Yang and Xu explores the expected safety levels of automated vehicles. The authors used an expressed-preference approach to measure the acceptable level of risk as compared with human-driven vehicles. They found that people expect autonomous vehicles to be four to five times safer than human drivers and that the autonomous vehicles would have to reduce traffic fatalities by 75 percent before they would be accepted.

In a second paper Liu, Yang and Xu investigated the role of social trust and risk/benefit perceptions in the public acceptance of automated driving. The researchers employed a survey to measure three facets of acceptance: general acceptance of automated driving; willingness to pay for automated vehicles; and the intention to use, purchase or recommend automated vehicles. They found that social perceptions of trust directly affected all measures of acceptance.

The study by Brell, Philipsen and Ziefle also looked at risk and benefit perceptions by using a two-step empirical approach to explore risk perceptions of connected and autonomous vehicles in comparison to conventional driving. They found that autonomous driving was perceived as riskier but that increased experience with driver assistance systems resulted in decreased perceptions of riskiness.

The special issue concludes with a study aimed at understanding how feelings related to conventional driving affect the perception and acceptance of autonomous vehicles. Raue and her colleagues explored how feelings related to traditional driving were used as information to make judgments about self-driving cars. They also found that those who had more experience with vehicle automation technologies had lower risk and higher benefit perceptions, as well as higher trust feelings with regard to autonomous vehicles.

Articles included in this special issue:
  • "How should autonomous cars drive? A preference for defaults in moral judgments under risk and uncertainty" by Björn Meder, Max Planck Institute for Human Development, Nadine Fleischhut, Max Planck Institute for Human Development, Nina-Carolin Krumnau, Max Planck Institute for Human Development, and Michael R. Waldmann, University of Göttingen
  • "How safe is safe enough for self-driving vehicles?" by Peng Liu, Tianjin University, Run Yang, Tianjin University, and Zhigang Xu, Chang'an University
  • "Public acceptance of fully automated driving: Effects of social trust and risk/benefit perceptions" by Peng Liu, Run Yang and Zhigang Xu
  • "sCARy! Risk perceptions in autonomous driving - The influence of experience on perceived benefits and barriers" by Teresa Brell, Ralf Philipsen and Martina Ziefle, RWTH Aachen University
  • "The influence of feelings while driving regular cars on the perception and acceptance of self-driving cars" by Martina Raue, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Lisa A. D'Ambrosio, MIT, Carley Ward, MIT, Chaiwoo Lee, MIT, Claire Jacquillat, Carnegie Mellon University, and Joseph F. Coughlin, MIT
-end-
Risk Analysis: An International Journal is published by the nonprofit Society for Risk Analysis (SRA), an interdisciplinary, scholarly, international society that provides an open forum for all who are interested in risk analysis, a critical function in complex modern societies. Risk analysis includes risk assessment, risk characterization, risk communication, risk management, and risk policy affecting individuals, public- and private-sector organizations, and societies at a local, regional, national, or global level. To learn more, visit http://www.sra.org.

Society for Risk Analysis

Related Human Development Articles:

A higher resolution image of human lung development
Researchers at CHLA provide clearer picture of how lungs develop and discover novel markers to differentiate populations of lung cells implicated in lung diseases of premature babies.
How human brain development diverged from great apes
Researchers from the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany, Institute of Molecular and Clinical Ophthalmology Basel, and ETH Zurich, Switzerland, present new insights into the development of the human brain and differences in this process compared to other great apes.
Development of flexible sensors mimicking human finger skin by DGIST
Senior Researcher Changsoon Choi's team at DGIST and Dr. Sungwoo Chun at SKKU developed a new tactile sensor mimicking human skin.
Researchers identify human protein that aids development of malaria parasite
Researchers in Japan have discovered that the Plasmodium parasites responsible for malaria rely on a human liver cell protein for their development into a form capable of infecting red blood cells and causing disease.
Healthy brain development is a human right, argues Yale researcher
We know that the environment in which children and young adults are raised influences healthy brain development.
Russian scientists have determined indicators of stress development in the human body
In today's life, we often encounter situations when the organism's functions are overstrained, and the action of extreme factors causes the development of a stress response.
University of Konstanz gains new insights into development of the human immune system
Scientists at the University of Konstanz identify fierce competition between the human immune system and bacterial pathogens.
Dental study of juvenile archaic Homo< fossil gives clues about human development
Most aspects of dental development for a juvenile Homo specimen from the Pleistocene fall within the modern human range, according to research by a group of Chinese and international scientists.
Why Hong Kong, Japan and Iceland are the best countries for human development
Since its introduction in 1990, UN's Human Development Index has contributed to a better understanding of development, but has its flaws.
New measure for the wellbeing of populations could replace Human Development Index
IIASA researchers have introduced a new, simple measure for human wellbeing across countries, called the Human Life Indicator (HLI), that takes inequality into account and could replace the commonly used but error-prone Human Development Index (HDI).
More Human Development News and Human Development Current Events

Best Science Podcasts 2019

We have hand picked the best science podcasts for 2019. Sit back and enjoy new science podcasts updated daily from your favorite science news services and scientists.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Rethinking Anger
Anger is universal and complex: it can be quiet, festering, justified, vengeful, and destructive. This hour, TED speakers explore the many sides of anger, why we need it, and who's allowed to feel it. Guests include psychologists Ryan Martin and Russell Kolts, writer Soraya Chemaly, former talk radio host Lisa Fritsch, and business professor Dan Moshavi.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#538 Nobels and Astrophysics
This week we start with this year's physics Nobel Prize awarded to Jim Peebles, Michel Mayor, and Didier Queloz and finish with a discussion of the Nobel Prizes as a way to award and highlight important science. Are they still relevant? When science breakthroughs are built on the backs of hundreds -- and sometimes thousands -- of people's hard work, how do you pick just three to highlight? Join host Rachelle Saunders and astrophysicist, author, and science communicator Ethan Siegel for their chat about astrophysics and Nobel Prizes.