UF & UAB’s Phase 1 Demonstration Study: Older Driver Experiences with Autonomous Vehicle Technology

The number of older adults (65 years of age and older) is nearing 20% of the US population, and Florida is leading the nation with 25% of its population being older adults. Driving, a critical mode of transportation for older adults, yields many health, community and societal benefits, while driving cessation is associated with poor health outcomes. But, older drivers are at-risk for crashes and deleterious crash-related effects. Although the deployment of autonomous vehicles (AV) may hold health and safety benefits for older drivers, the environment and society, the perceptions of older adults about such emerging technologies have only be solicited via surveys. Lived experiences in AV modes—i.e., “driving” a simulator in autonomous mode and an on-road AV, in combination with surveys, may more accurately reveal the perceptions of older drivers before and after “driving” the autonomous simulator or the AV. Therefore, this study is using an experimental repeated measures cross over design with pre-visit and post visit surveys, to quantify the perceptions of 70 older drivers, matched for age and gender, who have been exposed to “driving” the simulator in autonomous mode and riding in a level 5 AV. The research team expects that (1) user perceptions, values, beliefs, and attitudes will change after being exposed to “driving” the simulator and/or the AV; (2) the greatest level of change will occur between pre-survey results and post-survey results; and (3) the on-road experience in the AV may be a more positive experience compared to the driving simulator. Information gained from such experiences will inform engineers, the city manager, and transportation officials of opportunities and barriers to improve older drivers’ interaction with AV, facilitate their ease-of-use practices, and potentially empower them to adopt these technologies—and in so doing contribute to congestion mitigation, a core component of the UF TRI test-bed initiative.


  • Status: Active
  • Funding: $220000
  • 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:

    Southeastern Transportation Research, Innovation, Development and Education Center (STRIDE)

    University of Florida
    365 Weil Hall
    Gainesville, FL  United States  32611
  • Project Managers:

    Tucker-Thomas, Dawn

  • Performing Organizations:

    University of Florida Transportation Institute

    P.O. Box 116580
    Gainesville, FL  United States  32611

    University of Alabama, Birmingham

    Department of Civil, Construction and Environmental Engineering
    1075 13th Street South
    Birmingham, AL  United States  35294

    University of Florida

    P.O. Box 100164
    Gainesville, FL  United States  32611
  • Principal Investigators:

    Classen, Sherrilene

  • Start Date: 20180815
  • Expected Completion Date: 20210430
  • Actual Completion Date: 0
  • USDOT Program: University Transportation Centers Program

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01679897
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Southeastern Transportation Research, Innovation, Development and Education Center (STRIDE)
  • Contract Numbers: 69A3551747104
  • Files: UTC, RIP
  • Created Date: Aug 31 2018 10:17AM