AVT Consortium Convenes for Third Yearly Onsite Meeting

AVT Consortium Convenes for Third Yearly Onsite Meeting

The Advanced Vehicle Technology Consortium held its third yearly onsite meeting on August 2nd and 3rd. Founded by the AgeLab, Touchstone Evaluations, and AGERO, the Consortium includes as its members Delphi, Liberty Mutual Insurance, Jaguar Land Rover, AutoLiv, Toyota, and Consumer Reports.

The Consortium studies drivers' interactions with advanced vehicle technologies such as Tesla’s Autopilot and Volvo’s Pilot Assist, as well as lower-level systems including adaptive cruise control, blind spot monitoring, and forward collision warnings, with a focus on how drivers interact with such systems in different situations over many miles of travel, how drivers are trained to use in-vehicle technologies, and how that training affects their adoption and understanding of them.

The meeting addressed the development of several new approaches to analyze data from the 200,000 plus miles traveled by study vehicles to date. Consortium researchers are leveraging innovations in computer vision and other annotation approaches to characterize how drivers relate to the vehicle and operating environment. These efforts will aid in our understanding of which of the vehicles’ technological systems are being used and which are inactive at a given time and how people are behaving as they travel around town.

Researchers are also integrating in-vehicle observation data with self-reported data in order to better understand the underlying causes of different kinds of driver behaviors. For example, a driver who is observed using her phone frequently behind the wheel would appear to be distracted from driving by her personal technology. However, if during a subsequent interview she praises the usefulness of adaptive cruise control and how it allows her to stop paying attention to the road, then it becomes apparent that it is not the distractive quality of her phone alone that is being observed, but an instance of consumer overtrust in in-vehicle technology.

As the Consortium moves into its third year, researchers will continue to develop deeper insights into how automated vehicle technologies are shaping driver behavior and the core algorithms needed for more advanced driver state measurements systems that could someday appear in new cars.

For more information regarding the AVT consortium, contact Bryan Reimer (reimer@mit.edu).