AVT Consortium Research is Profiled in Automotive News

by Adam Felts

“MIT researchers have been working for seven years to collect the sort of data that many are clamoring for on the performance and safety of advanced driver-assist systems.”

This statement in a recent story in Automotive News highlights the efforts of the AgeLab’s AVT consortium to amass data on the real-time, everyday behaviors of drivers. As increasingly automated vehicles become available for purchase by consumers, understanding when we choose to use or not use these automated systems—and where enhancements are needed —will be key to improving the convenience, comfort, environmental efficiency and safety of future mobility systems.

NHTSA collects data directly on incidents of automotive accidents. But that data only captures a surface-level snapshot of these events. As AgeLab Research Scientist Bryan Reimer says for the Automotive News story, “Crashes and incidents are really rare events. They’re outliers. That’s why we’re not looking at crashes. We’re looking at fundamental behaviors that lead to crashes.”

The AVT consortium has published papers recently on how automated systems such as Tesla’s AutoPilot alters driver behavior and how the use of GM’s Super Cruise can be viewed as a collaborative human-automation system.

The level of sophistication and precision of the automation embodied in driver-assistance systems only tells a small part of the story of how they may improve the driving experience. It is essential as well to capture and analyze how drivers interact with these systems in the real world.

Read the full story here.

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About the Author

Photo of Adam Felts
Adam Felts

Adam Felts is a researcher and writer at the MIT AgeLab. Currently he is involved in research on the experiences of family caregivers and the future of financial advice. He also manages the AgeLab blog and newsletter. He received his Master's in Fine Arts in Creative Writing from Boston University in 2014 and his Master's of Theological Studies from Boston University in 2019.

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