Session Description


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Keynote Address: The Future is Autonomous Driving - But Are “We” on a Near Term Collision Course?


0845 - 0930


The vehicle has evolved slowly during most of the last century from a largely mechanical device to a complex computational system. Recent advances in sensing systems and computational capabilities have led to a rapid evolution of advanced driver assistance systems and a movement towards the production of vehicles with some elements of automated control. While the safety benefits of truly autonomous driving (no driver involvement) are on the distant horizon, partially autonomous driving (shared control), in the near term, may challenge typical human capabilities and have unexpected implications for safety. Perhaps most concerning, a public “mistake” by a Google or another autonomous vehicle could have unanticipated consequences for the automotive industry as a whole - eroding consumer trust in advanced safety systems and limiting the near term penetration of technologies that might otherwise enhance automotive safely. In this talk, a set of human factors issues relevant to shared control will be presented. Concepts from the driver’s viewpoint, case studies from aviation and other domains, implications associated with reducing the time a driver is in control, and potential scenarios resulting from current trends in technology development will be discussed.




Dr. Bryan Reimer, research scientist, MIT AgeLab, associate director, New England University Transportation Center

Bryan Reimer, Ph.D., is a Research Scientist in the Massachusetts Institute of Technology AgeLab and the Associate Director of The New England University Transportation Center at MIT. His research seeks to develop new models and methodologies to measure and understand human behavior in dynamic environments utilizing physiological signals, visual behavior monitoring, and overall performance measures. Dr. Reimer leads a multidisciplinary team of researchers and students focused on understanding how drivers respond to the increasing complexity of the operating environment and on finding solutions to the next generation of human factors challenges associated with distracted driving, automation and other in-vehicle technologies Dr. Reimer’s team also works with other researchers at Massachusetts Institute of Technology to apply methods and knowledge in other domains affecting older adults.