STUDY - Are Pedestrians Comfortable with Self Driving Vehicles?

The University of British Columbia's Research on Active Transportation Lab has released information on their study about the Perceived Safety and Comfort of Pedestrian Interactions with Self-driving Vehicles (SDVs). The study was conducted to inform strategies for the responsible introduction of SDVs in a way that does not degrade the walking experience.

The group investigated three main research questions:

  1. Do people perceive pedestrian interactions with SDVs as more or less comfortable and safe than interactions with HDVs, controlling for all other differences (i.e., is there an “Autonomy Bias”)?
  2. Does the Autonomy Bias vary systematically within the population (e.g. with age, gender, ethnicity, travel habits, and so on)?
  3. Which personal attributes, including Autonomy Bias, determine support for various SDV policies?

The final report is available on the REACT site along with more information on the project.