Research Spotlight: Older Driver Perceptions of Autonomous Vehicles

Photo shows Dr. Classen - a woman with short blonde hair, and Dr. Mason - a man with short brown hair.
Dr. Sherrilene Classen (left) and Dr. Justin Mason (right)

Dr. Sherrilene Classen and Dr. Justin Mason from the Department of Occupational Therapy and the Institute for Mobility, Activity and Participation recently had two papers accepted for publication related to their STRIDE Project, UF & UAB’s Phase I Demonstration Study: Older Driver Experiences with Autonomous Vehicle Technology. The first publication details how they developed survey items to be understandable for the general public and incorporate pertinent constructs, variables, and domains. Face validity was established with a focus group and is the extent to which survey items are transparent, understandable, and relevant for the target population. To establish content validity, Dr. Classen and Dr. Mason sought input from a variety of cross-disciplinary experts from fields like transportation engineering, city planning, psychology, and human factors. The survey was used in the second study to assess users’ perceptions of automated vehicles.

The second publication reports the interim findings from the STRIDE project. With a sample size of 69 participants, Dr. Classen and Dr. Mason were able to observe that exposure to riding in an automated shuttle or experiencing a simulator in autonomous mode improved older adults’ perceptions of automated vehicles. Their next steps with this research include testing 40 more participants as well as expanding their study in Phase II to look at perceptions of young and middle-aged adults.

Mason, J., Classen, S., Wersal, J., & Sisiopiku, V. (In Press). “Establishing face and content validity of a survey to assess users’ perceptions of automated vehicles.” Transportation Research Records.

Classen, S., Mason, J., Wersal, J., Sisiopiku, V., & Rogers, J. (In Press). “Older drivers’ experience with automated vehicle technology: Interim analysis of a demonstration study”. Frontiers in Sustainable Cities.