Nav: Home

Expectation versus reality in the acceptance of self-driving cars

December 05, 2016

As interest in the development of automated cars increases, public and media attention has focused on the speculative benefit of having an abundance of in-vehicle work and leisure time that would otherwise be spent driving. Although initial reports have suggested that the public is beginning to embrace this idealistic portrayal of self-driving cars, these emerging expectations may not align with the current state of technology's ability to fully automate the driving task. Research published in the Proceedings of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society 2016 Annual Meeting examined how the public's acceptance of automated vehicles changes when presented with a more realistic driving scenario.

According to Michael Nees, assistant professor of psychology at Lafayette College, "A lot of the public discourse to date about the capabilities of vehicle automation has been based on unrealistic expectations about the role of the human operator." He asks, "Will people accept a self-driving car that is safer than a human driver but that requires them to constantly monitor the automation in anticipation of the rare occasions when intervention will be necessary?"

Nees asked 288 adults age 19 to 83 to read either a realistic or an idealized vignette of a close friend or family member's experiences during the first six months of owning an automated vehicle. Participants answered a series of questions designed to gauge the extent to which they were accepting of self-driving cars.

Participants who read an idealized description of self-driving car ownership, in which the automation required little or no human intervention, were more accepting of self-driving cars than were those who read the more realistic scenario, which depicted a driver keeping close watch over the automation and occasionally needing to intervene.

"Current reports suggest a rush to design the human out of the driving system altogether - a goal that is ambitious but probably untenable for the time being," he adds. "Instead, a focus on designing effective cooperation and interaction between humans and automation likely will be necessary for self-driving cars to be deployed effectively. I see tremendous potential for this technology to make the roads safer for everyone."
-end-
To receive a copy of "Acceptance of Self-Driving Cars: An Examination of Idealized Versus Realistic Portrayals With a Self-Driving Car Acceptance Scale" for media-reporting purposes, contact HFES Communications Director Lois Smith (310/394-1811, lois@hfes.org).

The Human Factors and Ergonomics Society is the world's largest scientific association for human factors/ergonomics professionals, with more than 4,500 members globally. HFES members include psychologists and other scientists, designers, and engineers, all of whom have a common interest in designing systems and equipment to be safe and effective for the people who operate and maintain them. "Human Factors and Ergonomics: People-Friendly Design Through Science and Engineering."

Human Factors and Ergonomics Society

Related Intervention Articles:

Addiction intervention in hospital is a 'reachable moment'
Patients who meet an addiction medicine consult team while they're in the hospital are twice as likely to participate in treatment for substance use disorder after they go home, according to new research.
New target for drug intervention in Alzheimer's disease identified
Scientists at UAB have identified an enzyme in the brain, LIMK1, that may be an intriguing target for interventions against Alzheimer's disease and other dementias.
College drinking intervention strategies need a refresh
Peer approval is the best indicator of the tendency for new college students to drink or smoke according to new research from Michigan State University.
Online intervention shows promise in HIV prevention
A team led by José Bauermeister, Ph.D., M.P.H., Presidential Professor of Nursing and Director of the Program on Sexuality, Technology, & Action Research (PSTAR), at the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing (Penn Nursing) designed the My Desires & Expectations (myDEx) tool to address cognitive and emotional factors that influence YGBMSM sexual decision-making when seeking partners online. myDEx was pilot tested in a randomized trial over 90 days with 180 YGBMSM participants.
Intervention can boost rates of exclusive breastfeeding
Providing additional support to women in Burkina Faso can boost rates of exclusive breastfeeding.
Couples intervention may help partners of patients with diabetes
A new Diabetic Medicine study reveals that couples interventions may have beneficial effects for partners of individuals with type 2 diabetes.
Exercise intervention benefits older hospitalized patients
A randomized clinical trial in Spain that included 370 hospitalized patients 75 or older showed an exercise intervention was effective at helping to reverse the functional decline associated with hospitalization for older patients.
Was brief dermatologist intervention associated with patient behavior, satisfaction?
A short intervention by dermatologists to assess patients' risk of sun exposure, discuss their motivations and barriers regarding sun protection, and offer advice on sun protection options was associated with better sun protection behavior reported by patients and more satisfaction communicating with their dermatologist.
Novel intervention for anxiety symptoms among people with Bipolar Disorder
Psychologists at Lancaster University have devised a novel psychological intervention to address Anxiety in Bipolar Disorder (AIBD).
App, brief intervention may be lifesaver for suicidal teens
A preliminary study from UT Southwestern's O'Donnell Brain Institute shows an intervention program that includes a personalized app could make a difference: Researchers found the rate of attempted suicides by teenagers who received the intervention was halved compared to those who received the standard care during their hospitalization.
More Intervention News and Intervention Current Events

Top Science Podcasts

We have hand picked the top science podcasts of 2019.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Risk
Why do we revere risk-takers, even when their actions terrify us? Why are some better at taking risks than others? This hour, TED speakers explore the alluring, dangerous, and calculated sides of risk. Guests include professional rock climber Alex Honnold, economist Mariana Mazzucato, psychology researcher Kashfia Rahman, structural engineer and bridge designer Ian Firth, and risk intelligence expert Dylan Evans.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#541 Wayfinding
These days when we want to know where we are or how to get where we want to go, most of us will pull out a smart phone with a built-in GPS and map app. Some of us old timers might still use an old school paper map from time to time. But we didn't always used to lean so heavily on maps and technology, and in some remote places of the world some people still navigate and wayfind their way without the aid of these tools... and in some cases do better without them. This week, host Rachelle Saunders...
Now Playing: Radiolab

Dolly Parton's America: Neon Moss
Today on Radiolab, we're bringing you the fourth episode of Jad's special series, Dolly Parton's America. In this episode, Jad goes back up the mountain to visit Dolly's actual Tennessee mountain home, where she tells stories about her first trips out of the holler. Back on the mountaintop, standing under the rain by the Little Pigeon River, the trip triggers memories of Jad's first visit to his father's childhood home, and opens the gateway to dizzying stories of music and migration. Support Radiolab today at Radiolab.org/donate.