The Effects of Autonomous Vehicles on Safety and Safety Culture in Freight Operations

The proposed study will monitor and evaluate the impact of autonomous or semi-autonomous vehicles on safety and safety culture in an operational environment. Safety and safety culture might be negatively affected by the introduction of autonomous or semi-autonomous vehicles into an operational environment. The utilization of a standard measure of safety culture to assess the impact of the introduction and utilization of autonomous and semi-autonomous vehicles into an operational freight environment is needed. By assessing safety culture, and accident rates the comparison of pre-post interventions as well as the normative comparison of organizations to each other, the research team can monitor and evaluate the impact of autonomous or semi-autonomous vehicles into an operational environment. In addition, such measurements could also aid in the identification of areas within an organization, such as departments, relationship between management and labor, training programs and other areas that are in need of improvement relative to establishing a strong safety culture. The project will primarily utilize survey and interview methodology to gather data which will use statistical techniques to review historical evaluative data as well as qualitative data from focus groups and interviews. Reports on the accident incident rates of the study organization and scores obtained on the survey instrument (SCS) will be examined. Both analysis of variance and regression analysis will be used to obtain estimates of the relationship between and the impact of safety culture variables on the occurrence of accidents and incidents. Since this is a correlational field study it will only be possible to determine associational relationships. The data on safety culture will be obtained through the administration of Safety Culture Scale (SCS) (Sherry & Colarossi, 2016). The SCS was developed using a large sample of employees from a large public transportation agency (N=1909). The research will identify the relationship between the introduction and utilization of autonomous and semi-autonomous vehicles, the safety culture and the accident incident history of the sample organization. The project will also contribute to the identification of statistical patterns and degrees of association between those patterns. A final report, a conference presentation of results to local stakeholders and additional publications will be prepared and conducted to ensure dissemination of research results.


  • English


  • Status: Active
  • Funding: $359884
  • Contract Numbers:


  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Office of the Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology

    University Transportation Centers Program
    Department of Transportation
    Washington, DC  United States  20590
  • Managing Organizations:

    Mountain-Plains Consortium

    North Dakota State University
    Fargo, ND  United States  58108
  • Project Managers:

    Tolliver, Denver

  • Performing Organizations:

    University of Denver

    2199 S University Blvd
    Denver, Colorado  United States  80208
  • Principal Investigators:

    Sherry, Patrick

  • Start Date: 20171201
  • Expected Completion Date: 20240731
  • Actual Completion Date: 0
  • USDOT Program: University Transportation Centers Program
  • Source Data: MPC-552

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01656110
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Mountain-Plains Consortium
  • Contract Numbers: 69A3551747108
  • Files: UTC, RIP
  • Created Date: Jan 2 2018 3:18PM