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Florida Department of Transportation and University of Central Florida Automated and Connected Vehicles Project

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The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) is proud to partner with the University of Central Florida (UCF) on an innovative autonomous vehicle simulator research project. UCF is currently creating an AV Simulator to present to senior citizens across the state. Study participants will use the simulator and UCF and FDOT will record feedback and reactions.

Increased vehicle safety is a driving force in the development of Automated Vehicle (AV) and Connected Vehicle (CV) technologies. Connected vehicle technology builds on life-saving enhancements such as safety belts and air bags. Unlike safety belts and air bags that are designed to protect motor vehicle occupants in the event of an accident, AV and CV technologies will be designed to avoid catastrophes all together by providing warnings about impending danger or through beyond human reaction times. While not every possible situation can be avoided or foreseen while commuting in a motor vehicle, AVs have the potential to prevent many of the common accidents that do occur with improved driver situation awareness, with estimated annual savings of $1.3 trillion according to reports from Morgan Stanley.

baseplate-mock-01-baseplateAlthough an extensive amount of effort is underway in the creation of driverless cars, it is still unclear what the best methods are for alerting drivers to the new information they generate. AVs will encounter issues similar to CVs in that different information may need to be provided to a passenger so that they are able to maintain situation awareness of the vehicles operation and trust in the underlying technology. For example, how should an AV keep passengers informed of where it is going and what corrective actions (e.g. lane changes) it plans to take, and how do we design these systems such that passengers trust they will arrive at their destination safely. The primary objective for this effort is to investigate auditory, visual, and tactile multimodal communications in AV and CV displays for future vehicles to safely and quickly alert drivers of upcoming automation related events. This objective will be accomplished through a multi-phased approach including simulation test bed development followed by data collection with human participants performed throughout the state of Florida and UCF. Findings from this effort will result in requirements and recommendations for how to implement multimodal vehicle displays for ease of use and increased safety. “At UCF, we are incredibly grateful for FDOT’s involvement in this project,” said Daniel Barber, Ph.D., Research Associate at UCF. “This project is only possible with their support.”

For more information please contact Daniel Barber (dbarber@ist.ucf.edu).

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