Pnina Gershon Presents AVT Research at ARTS 2023

by Adam Felts

AgeLab Research Scientist Pnina Gershon participated in a panel discussion as part of the 2023 Automated Road Transportation Symposia (ARTS23), which is convened by the Transportation Research Board. Dr. Gershon was joined by Stacy Balk, PhD from National Highway Traffic Safety Administration NHTSA, Alexandra Mueller from Insurance Institute for Highway Safety / Highway Loss Data Institute, and Josh Domeyer from Toyota North America.

Dr. Gerson’s presentation, titled “Driver Behavior When Using Commercially Available Partial Automation, Evidence from Real-World Driving,” discussed findings from research conducted by the AgeLab’s Automated Vehicle Technologies Consortium (AVT), of which Dr. Gershon is a co-director.

The consortium outfits participant-driven vehicles to see how drivers interact with new vehicle technologies in a natural environment. One AVT study observes how drivers interact with Cadillac’s SuperCruise technology – including how often the technology is engaged and how it impacts driver attentiveness. Another study looks at differences in how drivers behave during an automated lane change using Tesla’s AutoPilot system versus a manual, driver-controlled lane change. A third study observes that the use of Volvo’s PilotAssist feature is correlated with higher proportions of highway speeding.

Drivers tend to dedicate less attention to the road in front of them when automated driving systems are operating. They may be preoccupied with the instrument cluster in order to monitor the system’s status. Or they may begin multitasking – using their cell phone while driving, most commonly – due to the system taking away some of the cognitive and attentional load of driving.

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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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