Keke Long presenting (University of Wisconsin) presenting at TRB 2023
The Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority (PSTA) launched a pilot program for self-driving shuttles in Dunedin, Florida, from April 28, 2022, to June 12, 2022. The shuttles were electric and fare-free and the first autonomous vehicle fleet launched by a transit agency in the state of Florida. In partnership with the PSTA, Qianwen Li, Ph.D., and Keke Long, senior research assistant, from the University of South Florida, Xiaopeng (Shaw) Li, Ph.D., from the University of Wisconsin, and Xiaowei Shi, Ph.D., from the University of Michigan conducted a study to investigate the attitudes of shuttle riders toward self-driving technology. The results of this study provide insights into advising future self-driving shuttle innovation and deployment.
“Most riders turn to a positive attitude towards self-driving shuttles after experiencing them,” said Dr. Qianwen Li. “Moreover, rides with long commutes are more likely to change their attitudes positively after the test ride. They may become AV shuttle customers in the future.”
Besides the attitude change before and after riding the self-driving shuttles, the research team also investigated participants’ perceptions as pedestrians and drivers.
“We found imperfect driving maneuvers, such as sudden stops, negatively impact surrounding drivers’ perception of sharing the roads with self-driving cars,” said Long during the 2023 Transportation Research Board (TRB) annual meeting.
“The research team hopes these results will aid self-driving shuttle operators in further improvements and believes the findings could help marketing decisions for industries,” said Phil Winters, director of the Transportation Demand Management program at the Center for Urban Transportation Research.
The self-driving shuttle used during the study
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