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An autonomous transportation future: Perspectives on diverse users’ interactions with different types of automated vehicle systems

February 10 @ 12:00 PM 1:00 PM

The development of vehicles with high levels of autonomy and intelligence has become one of society’s most ambitious technological goals. Improved roadway safety for all and enhanced independence for individuals with limited mobility are often cited as anticipated benefits of autonomous vehicles (AVs). However, given the various types of automated vehicle systems and the complexities associated with operating each type, there remain several challenges and unanswered questions regarding the nature of driver-vehicle interactions for different advanced vehicle technologies and for the diversity of expected users, e.g., frequent drivers, older adults, and travelers with disabilities. In this presentation, Dr. Pitts will discuss a series of research projects employing the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) taxonomy of levels of vehicle automation (LOAs) and focused on the performance and perception of different AV user demographics. Studies evaluate a wide range of LOAs and relate to 1) driver state (heart rate) monitoring while using L1 driver assistance systems, 2) assessments of situation awareness using eye tracking and age-related differences in attention management for L3 conditional vehicle automation, and 3) potential design solutions for, and traveler (people with disabilities) perception of, L5 full autonomy. Findings from this research can help to guide decisions about the design of in-vehicle features, warnings, information, and monitoring systems for next-generation autonomous vehicles.

Bio: Dr. Brandon J. Pitts is an Assistant Professor in the School of Industrial Engineering at Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN. At Purdue, he is also Director of the Next-generation Human-systems and Cognitive Engineering (NHanCE) Lab, Faculty Associate with the Center on Aging and the Life Course (CALC), and Co-Director of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Center of Excellence for Technical Training and Human Performance (TTHP). His research interests include human factors, cognitive engineering, human-automation interaction, cyber-physical-human systems, interface design, gerontechnology, and inclusive design in complex transportation and work environments, such as driving and aviation. In 2022, Dr. Pitts’ co-led team, EASI RIDER, was named the 1st place winner of the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) Inclusive Design Challenge (IDC) for their life-size autonomous vehicle solution that seeks to enable independent and seamless travel for individuals with disabilities. His research has been funded by sponsors such as the National Science Foundation (NSF), DOT, FAA, and Ford Motor Company. Dr. Pitts completed a B.S. in Industrial Engineering at Louisiana State University in 2010, and a M.S.E and Ph.D. in Industrial and Operations Engineering at the University of Michigan (UM), Ann Arbor, MI in 2013 and 2016, respectively. Prior to his faculty appointment, he was a Research Fellow in the UM Center for Healthcare Engineering and Patient Safety (CHEPS). He is also a registered Engineer Intern (E.I.T).

1513 Engineering Dr.
Madison, WI 53706 United States
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