Shabnam Haghzare (MASc): Towards a Safe and acceptable control scheme of Autonomous Cars for older adults

February 28, 2018 @ 9:30 am – 10:00 am
Rosebrugh Building
Rosebrugh Bldg, Toronto, ON M5S 3G9

Room: RS 211


Out-of-home mobility is important to all age groups, though it is arguably the key factor in facilitating the quality of life experienced by older adults. Cars play a crucial role in this out-of-home mobility. However, older adults’ driving abilities becomes limited as they age. Autonomous Vehicles can be a practical solution to the aforementioned issue. In the light of the ongoing developments towards highly Autonomous Vehicles and the significance of out-of-home transportation in older adults’ quality of life, detailed planning is essential to ensure that older adults will eventually cope with this technology.

This study aims to address the potential issues around Autonomous Vehicles (AVs) and older adults. The first phase of the study is concerned with the acceptability of levels of automation among older adults in different driving conditions. The second concern is the safety of the transitions between the levels of automation. 32 older participants will experience autonomous and manual driving in a 360-degree view driving simulator and will report their acceptability levels in a questionnaire. The experiment will take place three times in three different condition, rainy, traffic and normal. The driving simulator will also enable us to measure the drivers’ performance and track their eye movements. By this means we will then be able to identify the influence of subjective driving performance and behavior as well as driving conditions on AV acceptance. The results of this study will pave the way in designing effective AV control schemes which are desirable and safely operable by older adults.