Reyes, M., Roe, C., McDonald, A., Friberg, J. et al., "Adaptive Cruise Control: First Impressions Matter," SAE Technical Paper 2017-01-1382, 2017, doi:10.4271/2017-01-1382.
Advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) show tremendous promise for increasing safety on our roadways. However, while these technologies are rapidly infiltrating the American passenger vehicle market, many consumers have little to no experience or knowledge of them prior to getting behind the wheel. The Technology Demonstration Study was conducted to evaluate how the ways in which drivers learn about ADAS affect their perceptions of the technologies. This paper investigates drivers’ knowledge of the purpose, function, and limitations of the advanced driver assistance technology of adaptive cruise control (ACC), along with ratings of perceived usefulness, apprehension, and effort required to learn to use ACC. Evaluation of pre- and post-visit surveys showed that both the ride-along demonstration drive and owner’s manual learning protocols effectively conveyed ACC’s purpose and function, but those who completed the ride-along demonstration drive reported a significant increase in perceived usefulness while those who read the owner’s manual did not. The demonstration drive group also had a significant decrease in ratings of apprehension about using ACC. These findings demonstrate that the way in which consumers learn about new vehicle technologies can affect their perceptions and possibly their willingness to use them. The wrong first impression could lead to an adverse driver experience on the road or discourage drivers from ever trying to use ADAS in the first place.