University of Louisville Launches Survey on AV Perceptions

The yearlong study is designed to first introduce drivers to automated vehicle technologies and then record their levels of acceptance for use on roadways.

by Austin Ramsey, Messenger-Inquirer / April 22, 2019
Shutterstock/Thomas Kelley

(TNS) —The Center for Transportation Innovation at the University of Louisville is conducting a research survey to determine what Kentucky drivers think about automated vehicles.

According to CTI Director Richard Li, the yearlong study is designed to first introduce drivers to automated vehicle technologies and then record their levels of acceptance for use on roadways.

"I believe that one day in the near future, automated vehicles will be appearing on markets," Li said. "Even right here in Kentucky. It's good to know how Kentuckians are considering this technology."

Automated vehicles, also known as self-driving cars, combine a number of sensory technologies to map and predict environmental factors on roadways with little or no human involvement. Test vehicles in the U.S. have already proved successful in navigating paths, identifying obstacles and appropriately reacting to relevant signage. Some of those technologies are already available in newer model vehicles.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration released a formal system of classifying driverless technologies in 2013 ranging from fully manual with no sustained vehicle control (Level 1) to fully automated with no human intervention required at all (Level 5). Most automated vehicles on the market right now are Level 1; they employ the use of technologies like adaptive cruise control and parking- or lane-keeping assistance.

For auto manufacturers and government regulators to take steps forward on that scale would require the public's trust, Li said. That's why studies like his are important.

Participation in the study is open to any and all Kentucky drivers. It is available online, and already, Li said involvement among urban drivers has been high, but there has been some pushback from rural drivers. The study, he said, is not about convincing drivers to trust automated technologies, but measuring whether drivers do or could. That's why he said anyone interested should participate, regardless of their feeling now.

Participants can take the survey at surveymonkey.com/r/kyav.

©2019 the Messenger-Inquirer (Owensboro, Ky.). Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.


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