Future Research Needs and Conclusions

Authored by: Donald L. Fisher , William J. Horrey , John D. Lee , Michael A. Regan

Handbook of Human Factors for Automated, Connected, and Intelligent Vehicles

Print publication date:  June  2020
Online publication date:  May  2020

Print ISBN: 9781138035027
eBook ISBN: 9781315269689
Adobe ISBN:


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Future research needs have been spread throughout the Handbook. These needs depend critically on how the future unfolds. In the mind of the driver, and of the automobile manufacturer, will the role of Level 2 vehicles change from chauffeurs which handle most of the time the primary driving functions to guardians which require the driver to be always in the loop directing the automation, not just monitoring the automation? Will the business case for automated vehicles such as robo-taxis or truck platoons prove to be a solid one? These are just two of hundreds of different questions to which the answers are unknown. Yet, despite the fact that we cannot know exactly how the future will unfold, the mix of automation levels in the vehicle fleet is not likely to change much in the next five to ten years. By one account, it is estimated that the most advanced vehicle technologies (L5) will take three to five decades to reach 90% market penetration (Litman, 2019). Thus, it could be at least several decades before the majority of the vehicle fleet has Level 3 technologies, let alone a majority of Level 4 or Level 5 technologies in actual operation on the majority of roadways. In this context, the Handbook takes on particular importance because it focuses for the most part on the human factors challenges of Level 0 through Level 3 technologies, along with those of active safety systems. In brief, these chapters describe human factors questions relative to automated, connected, and intelligent vehicles that still need to be answered in order to arrive at a better understanding of the driver, of the interface between the driver, the vehicle, and the larger systems within which the driver is involved, of the public’s opinion of automated vehicles and the regulation of such vehicles, and of the evaluation of automated vehicles. In short, there is no better place to turn for an understanding of the broad range of near-term and future research needs than the chapters themselves. However, not wanting to let go entirely of the desire to provide more than just a summary, we the editors also offer some thoughts on what issues we think will be most critical to research, development, practice, policy, and planning in the next five years or so, recognizing that the authors of the chapters themselves are the true experts.

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