AAA had two different groups of volunteers operate the same car with the same driverless features.
For the first group, researchers gave the system the fictional name “AutonoDrive” and presented drivers with an upbeat assessment of its capabilities.
For the second group, researchers named the system “DriveAssist” and downplayed what it could do.
“What we found is some pretty profound differences between the two groups in terms of their understanding and expectations of the systems,” Horrey said.
More people in the AutonoDrive group said they’d feel comfortable eating or using a cellphone, compared to the DriveAssist group. The AutonoDrive users also had more confidence in the car’s ability to take a tight curve or avoid a collision.
“They tended to think that the system was a lot more capable than it was, they expected it could perform in a lot of situations that, in fact, it couldn’t,” Horrey said.