Under the Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme, the European Commission has recently funded 4 new projects focused on driver behaviour and acceptance of connected, cooperative and automated transport: Drive2TheFuture, PAsCAL, SUaaVE, Trustonomy.
These projects share some common topics to investigate on such as the assessment of public acceptance of autonomous driving; the analysis of the driver behaviour under different scenarios; the human/machine interconnections, and last – but absolutely not least – the investigation of ethical and legal issues associated with drivers of autonomous vehicles.
Lila Gaitanidou, CERTH/HIT, Drive2theFuture project coordinator, stresses out that “User should be in the core of designing and deploying connected and autonomous vehicles (CAVs). And this is valid for all means of transportation. There are different user categories addressed, from drivers and passengers, to related stakeholders and vulnerable road users, their needs and wants varying accordingly. Drive2theFuture, through its 12 pilots undertaken in 8 European countries and a series of design, modelling, training, awareness and dissemination activities, aims at actively involving all users in the process, towards a successful deployment of CAVs in Europe”.
Guillaume Gronier, LIST, PAsCAL project coordinator, explains that “Our aims is to create a “Guide2Autonomy” that will improve the understanding of the implications of connected and automated vehicles (CAVs) on society, educate future drivers and passengers and help decision makers navigate the transition to new forms of personal mobility resulting from the deployment of Connected and Autonomous Vehicles. It will not only focus on the interaction of the “users” in or near CAV, but also assess the impact of connected transport on people’s well-being, quality of life, and equity by using a strongly interdisciplinary mix of innovative tools from both human science and technology, to capture the public’s acceptance and attitude, analyse and assess their concerns, model and simulate realistic scenarios for hand-on practices, and validate the research innovation in a number of trials in the real world.”
The Instituto de Biomecánica (IBV) is leading the European project SUaaVE (SUpporting acceptance of automated vehicle) with the objective to improve the response and sensitivity of the autonomous vehicle, making it more aware of the occupants, pedestrians and other drivers needs. José Solaz, director of innovation in Automotive of the IBV, ensures that in this way “we will achieve a greater acceptance of the autonomous vehicle by solving the existing gap between technology and the real needs of citizens.”
Stefano Bianchi, Softeco, TRUSTONOMY project coordinator, thinks that “Building acceptance and trust in autonomous mobility is one of the keys to the success and actual implementation of the autonomous and connected vehicles. And this is what our project will be working on for the next three years, proposing a complete framework for the evaluation of technical solutions that constitute Autonomous Driving Systems (ADS).”