New research shows what people in B.C. say they would need to feel safe sharing the road with self-driving cars – and having a human behind the wheel is high on the list.
The project out of the University of British Columbia’s Research on Active Transportation Lab first set out to see how people perceived the impact of self-driving cars on pedestrian safety and comfort and how that could shape policy.
Gurdiljot Gill, the PhD candidate who conducted the study, says subjects were shown videos, one series with human-driven cars and another with self-driving cars.
Forty-one per cent perceived the scenarios with the autonomous vehicles as less safe or less comfortable for pedestrians.
But there was a twist.
“The videos are the same,” Gill told CTV News, explaining that the perception of increased danger or discomfort could therefore be chalked up to skepticism about or bias against driverless cars.