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Keynote Session 8 – Chandra Bhat
Title: What Can We Learn about Travel and Safety Implications from Partially Automated Vehicle Use?
Speaker: Chandra Bhat
Abstract: Investigating the potential activity-travel behavior impacts of fully autonomous vehicles (designated as Level 5 automation on the Society of Automotive Engineers or SAE scale) can only be undertaken today through stated preference or SP surveys (that is, asking individuals how they may change their mobility patterns in a hypothetical environment with a Level 5 vehicle). But individuals may not be in a position to provide appropriate responses when thrust into a hypothetical environment that is difficult to conjure up. In this regard, SAE Level 1 features (such as adaptive cruise control or parking assist features) are in most new vehicles today, while many higher-end vehicles today also achieve Level 2 automation (such as vehicles with adaptive cruise control, hands-free lane changing, and self-parking). The availability and use of these vehicles today, albeit with lower levels of automation, can provide important and reliable insights on how travel patterns may change with advancing technology. In this paper, we propose to examine potential mobility changes due to technology features that exist today in vehicles. Importantly, while some earlier studies have examined consumer acceptance of existing vehicle technology, we go beyond consumer acceptance to also examine how individuals with and without automation features in their vehicles differ in their annual vehicle miles of travel (VMT). Potential implications for roadway safety due to VMT changes are also discussed.