People not technology will drive success of autonomous vehicles

August 01, 2016

As the world moves closer to autonomous and self-driving vehicles, road safety experts are turning from technology to psychology to better understand the road to safer mobility, according Professor Narelle Haworth, director of QUT's Centre for Accident Research & Road Safety - Queensland (CARRS-Q).

Professor Haworth launched the 2016 International Conference on Traffic and Transport Psychology today (August 2, 2016) in Brisbane. The event runs from August 2-5 and will see more than 300 psychologists, researchers and safety experts share the latest in road safety research with the aim of reducing road trauma.

CARRS-Q and Griffith University are hosting the event which also marks the half-way point of the UN Decade of Action, a global initiative that unites more than 70 countries in a campaign to reduce traffic crashes and road fatalities.

"A lot has changed in the last five years. Today we are presented with utopian visions of automated transport in which humans have little role to play in driving but the road to the future must consider human motivations, decisions and capabilities," Professor Haworth said.

"As road safety experts we need to be asking what technologies do drivers really want and will they use these technologies in the way that developers expect?

"Technology isn't the obstacle, psychology is, and the challenge is to understand if humans can trust autonomous machines."

Professor Haworth said that many people would be unwilling to give up the private automobile and move to shared, self-driving cars.

She said considerations also need to be given to whether autonomous vehicles could contribute to other health issues such as obesity, by reducing the need to walk to parking spots or public transport.

"Will we be willing to entrust our children to self-driving machines? And will improvements in technology improve road safety in developing countries or just magnify the current inequities?

"All of these questions relate to traffic and transport psychology and they are too important to be left to technology developers to solve.

"If these questions are not answered well, then the road to safer mobility may be a long one with many detours."

Professor Haworth said while considerable progress in road safety had been made as part of the UN Decade of Action, road crashes were still estimated to kill 1.25 million people per year and injure many more.

"We need to continue the momentum to ensure that real action is taken to make roads safer for the challenges faced today and into the future."
-end-
What: 2016 International Conference on Traffic Transport and Psychology (ICTTP2016)

When: August 2-5

Where: Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre

More information: http://icttp2016.com/

Media contacts: Sandra Hutchinson, QUT Media, 07 3138 9449 (Tue/Wed) or media@qut.edu.au
After hours: Rose Trapnell, 0407 585 901

Queensland University of Technology

Related Psychology Articles from Brightsurf:

More than one cognition: A call for change in the field of comparative psychology
In a paper published in the Journal of Intelligence, researchers argue that cognitive studies in comparative psychology often wrongly take an anthropocentric approach, resulting in an over-valuation of human-like abilities and the assumption that cognitive skills cluster in animals as they do in humans.

Psychology research: Antivaxxers actually think differently than other people
As vaccine skepticism has become increasingly widespread, two researchers in the Texas Tech University Department of Psychological Sciences have suggested a possible explanation.

In court, far-reaching psychology tests are unquestioned
Psychological tests are important instruments used in courts to aid legal decisions that profoundly affect people's lives.

Psychology program for refugee children improves wellbeing
A positive psychology program created by researchers at Queen Mary University of London focuses on promoting wellbeing in refugee children.

Psychology can help prevent deadly childhood accidents
Injuries have overtaken infectious disease as the leading cause of death for children worldwide, and psychologists have the research needed to help predict and prevent deadly childhood mishaps, according to a presentation at the annual convention of the American Psychological Association.

Raising the standard for psychology research
Researchers from Stanford University, Arizona State University, and Dartmouth College used Texas Advanced Computing Center supercomputers to apply more rigorous statistical methods to psychological studies of self-regulation.

Psychology: Robot saved, people take the hit
To what extent are people prepared to show consideration for robots?

Researchers help to bridge the gap between psychology and gamification
A multi-disciplinary research team is bridging the gap between psychology and gamification that could significantly impact learning efforts in user experience design, healthcare, and government.

Virtual reality at the service of psychology
Our environment is composed according to certain rules and characteristics which are so obvious to us that we are scarcely aware of them.

Modeling human psychology
A human being's psychological make-up depends on an array of emotional and motivational parameters.

Read More: Psychology News and Psychology Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.