Autonomous Vehicles: Capturing In-Vehicle Experience & Focus Group Follow-up with Persons with Autism and Other Disabilities at the 2019 Princeton University SmartDrivingCar Summit

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CAIT project no.: CAIT-UTC-REG21

Fiscal Year: 2018/2019

Status: Final

Principal investigator(s): Cecilia Feeley, Ph.D. (PI) Rutgers CAIT; Andrea Lubin (Co-PI), Rutgers VTC;

Performing organization(s): Rutgers CAIT

Managing organization: Rutgers CAIT

In cooperation with: North Jersey Transportation Planning Authority
Partner project manager: Mary Ameen, Executive Director

In cooperation with: Princeton University
Partner project manager: Alain Kornhauser, Ph.D.

Supported by: USDOT-OST-R

UTC, grant, or agreement no.: 69A3551847102


The purpose of this project is to explore and document both positive impacts autonomous vehicle (AV) transportation, aka a self-driving car, could have on persons with a broad array of disabilities and other transportation issues, as well as challenges that may hinder their successful usage of this revolutionary technology. The Princeton Summit provides a unique opportunity to present AV to a sample of persons with disability so they can experience the technology first-hand and share their experiences with the University researchers for analysis and discussions with policymakers, vehicle manufacturers, and others.

This study will have several positive outcomes. First, it will inform industry leaders about populations that they may fail to consider when developing and promoting AV transportation – instead of shaping the technology for luxury car owners. This study will give them missing and needed knowledge about the experiences and perceptions of persons with disabilities in using AV transportation so that the industry can more successfully ensure these vehicles are designed to best meet the transport needs of persons with disability. Second, by collecting, analyzing and sharing data on the actual experiences of a sample of persons with disabilities in using AV technology, this work grants persons with disabilities the opportunity to help shape AV technology so that it can work best to meet their travel needs.