Analysis of Preference for Autonomous Driving Under Different Traffic Conditions Using a Driving Simulator
Udara Eshan Manawadu*, Masaaki Ishikawa*, Mitsuhiro Kamezaki**, and Shigeki Sugano*
*Department of Modern Mechanical Engineering, School of Creative Science and Engineering, Waseda University
3-4-1 Okubo, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo 169-8555, Japan
**Research Institute for Science and Engineering (RISE), Waseda University
17 Kikui-cho, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo 162-0044, Japan
Intelligent passenger vehicles with autonomous capabilities will be commonplace on our roads in the near future. These vehicles will reshape the existing relationship between the driver and vehicle. Therefore, to create a new type of rewarding relationship, it is important to analyze when drivers prefer autonomous vehicles to manually-driven (conventional) vehicles. This paper documents a driving simulator-based study conducted to identify the preferences and individual driving experiences of novice and experienced drivers of autonomous and conventional vehicles under different traffic and road conditions. We first developed a simplified driving simulator that could connect to different driver-vehicle interfaces (DVI). We then created virtual environments consisting of scenarios and events that drivers encounter in real-world driving, and we implemented fully autonomous driving. We then conducted experiments to clarify how the autonomous driving experience differed for the two groups. The results showed that experienced drivers opt for conventional driving overall, mainly due to the flexibility and driving pleasure it offers, while novices tend to prefer autonomous driving due to its inherent ease and safety. A further analysis indicated that drivers preferred to use both autonomous and conventional driving methods interchangeably, depending on the road and traffic conditions.
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