Examining Senior Drivers Adaptation to Level 2-3 Automated Vehicles: A Naturalistic Study

The aging of society will continue to impact all of society’s major institutions in a variety of ways for decades to come. Major areas which will be affected include finance, housing, health, and transportation. Automated vehicle technology (AVT) has the potential to assist older drivers by reducing exposure to hazards. AVT can help to fill this need by compensating for declining functional health and related abilities often seen in seniors (e.g., cognition, perception, psychomotor skill, and physical abilities such as strength, balance, flexibility, stamina, and reaction time). However, this can only work if technology designers, policy makers, and other stakeholders fully consider the needs and feelings of this growing cohort. For example, some older drivers may fear or mistrust AVT, not perceiving how it may help them compensate for diminished functional health and capability. The objective of the proposed project is to examine seniors’ attitudes towards AVT prior to any substantive exposure or use, then again after having the opportunity to explore and use AVT in the real world for six weeks. Participants will fill in before/after surveys, and they will be asked to contribute to focus group sessions. Results and data will be productized and shared with key stakeholders. Thus, this project sits directly at the nexus of its primary theme area of Automated Vehicles and the primary application area of Vulnerable Users (i.e., senior drivers). These two major emerging societal and technological trends must be reconciled as we move forward into this century of change.


  • English


  • Status: Active
  • Funding: $275263
  • 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

    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:

    Antin, Jon

  • Start Date: 20171216
  • Expected Completion Date: 20181215
  • Actual Completion Date: 0
  • USDOT Program: University Transportation Centers Program

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01658896
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Safety through Disruption University Transportation Center
  • Contract Numbers: 69A3551747115
  • Files: UTC, RiP
  • Created Date: Feb 2 2018 5:26PM