Toyota’s studies are looking to find out if drivers are properly adapting to a constant stream of new technology being made available in vehicles.
It’s easy to look around and see all the technology going into today’s vehicles. But is it too much for drivers and are they taking it all in properly?
Toyota will try to figure all of that out as its Collaborative Safety Research Center will study the societal acceptance of connected vehicles and automated technologies. The company will undertake five research projects to better understand how drivers are using and responding to emerging technologies that are forming the basis of self-driving cars, including automated driver assistance systems.
The great promise of new technology will help improve road safety, Toyota said, but the company wonders about driver interaction with these systems and how those behind the wheel can be educated about operating these tools safely. Of the five research projects, four will be focused on societal acceptance and look to gain insight on how the technology is used. With the data gathered, Toyota hopes to help find ways to support better integration, boost the development of safer driving behaviours and find potential countermeasures to risky driving behaviour.
“The development of advanced vehicle technologies may be progressing faster than the ability of some people to fully understand their capabilities, and it’s important to identify how drivers actually understand and use these emerging systems,” said Chuck Gulash, director of the Collaborative Safety Research Center. “By working with our partner institutions, and openly sharing our insights with the broader automotive, government, NGO, and technology communities, we believe we can help progress society’s acceptance of these new and promising technologies.”
Toyota will be partnering with George Mason University in Virginia, the Rockville Institute in Maryland, the University of Washington, the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute and San Francisco State University for the projects. The institutions will share their findings in an effort to speed research. The results will be made public, Toyota noted.
Toyota’s Collaborative Safety Research Center launched in 2011 and has partnered with 26 universities over 60 projects related to auto safety.