Adaptive Cruise Control: First impressions matter

Paper #:
  • 2017-01-1382

Published:
  • 2017-03-28
Abstract:
Advanced driver assistance technologies show tremendous promise for increasing safety on our roadways. These technologies are rapidly infiltrating the American passenger vehicle market, however many consumers have little to no experience or knowledge of them prior to finding themselves behind the wheel. The objective of the Technology Demonstration Study is to evaluate how the way in which drivers learn about driver assistance technologies affects their perceptions of the technologies. This analysis evaluates drivers’ knowledge of the purpose, function, and limitations of adaptive cruise control (ACC) along with ratings of perceived usefulness and apprehension about using ACC. Sixty drivers, 30–55 years of age balanced by gender, completed a pre-visit survey. Each was randomly assigned to experience either a ride-along demonstration of five driver assistance technologies, including ACC, or was given the opportunity to read about the five technologies in the owner’s manual. All participants then completed a post survey. Evaluation with five multiple-choice knowledge questions showed that both the demonstration and the owner’s manual effectively conveyed ACC’s purpose, function, and limitations. Those who completed the demonstration drive reported a significant increase in perceived usefulness while those who read the owner’s manual did not. The demonstration group also had a significant decrease in ratings of apprehension about using ACC. These finding show 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 cause drivers to disable driver assistance technologies and never use them again.
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