Real-world Use of Automated Driving Systems and their Safety Consequences

Automated driving systems (ADSs) have the potential to fundamentally transform transportation by reducing crashes, congestion, and cost while improving traffic efficiency and access to mobility for the transportation-challenged population. However, people may not use ADS as intended due to their misunderstanding of such systems’ capabilities and limitations. Recent news articles, reporting Tesla drivers napping behind the wheel, suggest the need for a better understanding of how people are using ADSs as well as what benefits and consequence that such systems have on transportation safety. Therefore, this work aims to investigate the (1) limitations of automated longitudinal and lateral control features (e.g., adaptive cruise control and lane keeping assistance) found in real-world operation, (2) unintended use of such systems and their safety consequences, as well as (3) driver perception of these novel technologies. For this purpose, this study will leverage data collected from 50 participants who drove personally owned vehicles equipped with ADSs for 12 months. The work is expected to contribute to a greater understanding of the prevalence and safety consequences of ADS use on public roadways, as well as drivers’ perception of the early production ADS. The findings from this project may further inform the development of human-machine interfaces, training programs, and owners’ manuals to reduce unintended use of ADSs and negative consequences. The identified characteristics of the situations when the driving automation requested human drivers’ intervention or failed without alerts will further inform the development of testing scenarios to ensure ADS safety.


  • English


  • Status: Completed
  • Funding: $80326
  • 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:

    Safety through Disruption University Transportation Center (Safe-D)

    Virginia Tech Transportation Institute
    Blacksburg, VA  United States  24060
  • Project Managers:

    Harwood, Leslie

  • Performing Organizations:

    Virginia Tech Transportation Institute

    3500 Transportation Research Plaza
    Blacksburg, Virginia  United States  24061
  • Principal Investigators:

    Kim, Hyungil

  • Start Date: 20191101
  • Expected Completion Date: 20200730
  • Actual Completion Date: 0
  • USDOT Program: University Transportation Centers Program

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01727171
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Safety through Disruption University Transportation Center (Safe-D)
  • Contract Numbers: 69A3551747115
  • Files: UTC, RIP
  • Created Date: Jan 2 2020 12:33PM