Research Projects

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Research Projects

STATUS: In Progress YEAR: 2017 TOPIC AREA: Public transit, land use, and urban mobility CENTER: PSR

Evaluation of Autonomous Vehicles and Smart Technologies for Their Impact on Traffic Safety and Traffic Congestion

Project Summary

Funding Source(s) and
Amounts Provided (by each agency or organization)



Total Project Cost


Agency ID or Contract Number

No sub-award number yet

Start and End Dates

6/1/2018 – 5/31/2019 (tentative)

Brief Description of
Research Project

Therefore, we propose to evaluate these known consequences of autonomous systems in aviation for their effects on driver safety.  We will use this information to predict changes in crash rates and subsequent surprise traffic congestion for different levels of automation.   In effect, we will leverage the expertise and experience of the PI and Co-I on automated systems in aerospace applications to the domain of driver performance and system outcomes.  Our specific objectives are as follows:

• Determine from a review of existing research on operator inattention, situation awareness and trust in automation, as a function of levels of automation the potential impact on driver performance and subsequent traffic crash risk and surprise congestion. 

• Develop and run a driving simulation to identify driver performance costs as the level of automation increases from manual driving (L0) to fully automated travel (L3-L4).  Determine the extent to which driver performance is affected by situation awareness, workload, trust in automation and inattention.

• Modelling the effects identified in the driving simulation on potential changes in vehicle crash rates and surprise traffic congestion associated with negative automation effects.

By meeting these objectives, we will contribute important information for the design of autonomous vehicles and infrastructure needed to support them.  We expect, therefore, to present the results of our work at conferences in human factors, and journal articles in human factors and traffic safety.



Describe Implementation of Research Outcomes (or why not implemented)


Impacts/Benefits of Implementation (actual, not anticipated)


Web Links, Reports, Project website




James Miles
Assistant Professor, Department of Psychology
1250 Bellflower Boulevard
Long Beach, CA 90840
United States
[email protected]


Thomas Strybel
Professor, Department of Psychology
1250 Bellflower Boulevard
Long Beach, CA 90840
United States
[email protected]