Google's_Lexus_RX_450h_Self-Driving_Car

Research Explores the Human Side of Autonomous Driving

A special article collection on the human side of autonomous driving features Embry-Riddle research that looks at how positive and negative media portrayals of driverless vehicles affect consumer perceptions of the technology.

The article collection, published by Elsevier and freely available until Dec. 31, 2018, covers six levels of automation, from none to hands-off driving. The editors note, however, that “regardless of the level of automation we reach, there will always be a human side to autonomous driving, whether it’s the psychology behind getting people into self-driving cars or the policy implications of the technology.”

In a pair of Embry-Riddle studies, people were more willing to ride in driverless vehicles after hearing positive information about them, and less willing to ride after hearing negative information. Because people from India are significantly more willing to ride in driverless vehicles compared to Americans, the researchers also looked at the effect of nationality on an individual’s willingness to forego a human driver. Females from India had the highest willingness-to-ride scores, researchers found.

The Embry-Riddle team was directed by Scott Winter, a faculty member in the College of Aviation’s School of Graduate Studies, and colleague Stephen Rice of the College of Arts and Sciences’ Human Factors and Behavioral Neurobiology Department on Embry-Riddle’s Daytona Beach, Fla., Campus. Student Emily Anania served as first author of the research. Co-authors were students Nathan Walters, Matthew Pierce and Mattie Milner.

Add a Comment

Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, the world’s largest, fully accredited university specializing in aviation and aerospace, is a nonprofit, independent institution offering more than 80 baccalaureate, master’s and Ph.D. degree programs in its colleges of Arts & Sciences, Aviation, Business, Engineering and Security & Intelligence. Embry-Riddle educates students at residential campuses in Daytona Beach, Fla., and Prescott, Ariz., through the Worldwide Campus with more than 125 locations in the United States, Europe, Asia and the Middle East, and through online programs. The university is a major research center, seeking solutions to real-world problems in partnership with the aerospace industry, other universities and government agencies. For more information, visit erau.edu, follow us on Twitter (@EmbryRiddle) and facebook.com/EmbryRiddleUniversity, and find expert videos at YouTube.com/EmbryRiddleUniv.