Academic Study Involving Autonomous Vehicles
A study led by Profs Yaniv and Rosenblum explores passenger behavior in autonomous vehicles
The first academic study in Israel that involves an autonomous vehicle will be conducted by the Bar Ilan Center for Smart Cities-by Prof. Eyal Yaniv, founder of the Center, and Prof. Tova Rosenblum, Head of the Research Institute of Human Factors in Road Safety.
The study, which explores the behavior of passengers in an autonomous vehicle, will have an immediate applied contribution to the possibility of transporting Covid-19 patients, while minimizing the risk of infecting a driver with the disease. As part of the study, a vehicle will be driven without presence of a driver in it. in order to explore passengers' feelings and attitudes towards riding in an autonomous vehicle. The operator, who will be outside the vehicle, will be able to take control of it if needed, using a remote control station that has been recently developed and has yet to be tested in an operational manner. The passengers will be briefed to behave in a manner that ensures their safety. The study will include 100 test drives, in which two passengers simulate a "patient" and a "clinical escort." Half the rides in the study will be carried out when the operator is inside the vehicle and half the rides will be carried out with the operator outside the vehicle. The rides in the two parts of the experiment will be carried out using an identical ride protocol, so that it will be possible to compare the rides in which the operator was inside the vehicle with those in which the operator was outside the vehicle. The study will aid in gathering knowledge regarding the behavioral aspects of passengers in the autonomous vehicle, and especially will provide plenty of valuable information regarding the passengers' reaction to the ride in the autonomous vehicle, their safety level, their level of calmness and the possibility of incorporating them in the operation of the vehicle if required - a subject that has yet to be researched.