Connected and Automated Vehicles
Researchers in all groups at UMTRI are performing research to facilitate the development and integration of connected and automated vehicles and systems onto roadways around the world.
Engineering Systems Group
Researchers in UMTRI’s engineering systems group have been working in the area of active safety and automated control technologies for more than 25 years. This group investigates safety and mobility effects of various automated and connected technologies as well as traffic control using existing and future forms of roadway infrastructure. Methods include conducting lab simulations, modeling big data from the field, performing large field studies using instrumented fleets of cars, trucks, buses, and bicycles. They also address cybersecurity issues.
Human Factors Group
A safe and successful deployment of CAVs will depend on how the driver will interact with advanced driving systems. Researchers at UMTRI are developing and testing a host of experimental protocols designed to reveal the potential for inattentive driving, issues of trust, comprehension of how the systems operate, acceptance to how AVs maneuver, as well as developing efficient instructional methods to improve drivers' interaction with CAVs. Researchers also are looking at how CAVs can address some of the most critical issues in transportation safety including the safety of vulnerable road users like pedestrians and bicyclists, as well as how ride sharing might improve accessibility and overall quality of life.
Driver Interface Group
Researchers in the Driver Interface Group at UMTRI are working directly with industry to evaluate the design and usability of vehicle controls, displays and other CAV information systems, and to write design guidelines and develop methods for evaluating future systems. They also develop and test driver interfaces for SAE Level 2 and 3 vehicles.
Even with advanced driving systems, crashes will still occur. Occupants in automated vehicles will still need crash protection systems because they can be struck by other vehicles. UMTRI’s experts in the Biosciences Group use physical testing and computational modeling to understand how differences in body shape, age, and posture can be considered to optimize effectiveness of restraint systems. Other automated vehicle research focuses on how occupants move relative to restraint systems during braking and vehicle manuevers, and what factors contribute to vehicle motion sickness that may be more prevalent in AVs.
Behavioral Sciences Group
Despite the rapid proliferation of AV's onto our roadways, driver decision making and behavior will continue to play a critical role in the success and safety of AV's. One important focus of the UMTRI Behavioral Sciences Group is conducting research that will help us better understand how drivers, particularly vulnerable drivers such as older adults and teens, learn about and use AV technologies and systems. In addition, researchers in the BSG are involved in research to examine factors associated with trust in AV's and how trust influences the acceptance and use of vehicle automation.
How many miles of travel are needed for an AV manufacturer to thoroughly demonstrate that their vehicle or AV system is at least as safe as a traditional vehicle? UMTRI experts have access to petabytes of efficient and high-quality naturalistic data sets, crash data for the U.S. and several states, as well as the largest set of connected vehicle data in the world. This data will better inform manufacturers and policy makers in their pursuit of a national connected vehicle network and AV deployment. This group is also engaged in the design and optimization of shared mobility systems.
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