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On the Road with an Autonomous Passenger Shuttle: Integration in Public Spaces

Eden, G and Nanchen, B and Ramseyer, R and Evéquoz, F (2017) On the Road with an Autonomous Passenger Shuttle: Integration in Public Spaces. In: Proceedings of CHI '17 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, 06 May 2017 - 11 May 2017, Denver, USA.

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Abstract

The integration of autonomous vehicles (AVs) onto public roads presents both technical and social challenges. Public understanding and acceptance of AVs requires engagement with people who live in, work at or visit cities where they are deployed on public road networks. We investigate the impact of one of the first placements of AV passenger transport on public roadways: the Sion <<SmartShuttle>>. This late- breaking research presents preliminary results from interviews with local shopkeepers, residents, pedestrians and drivers to understand their attitudes and opinions of the shuttle. We also discuss video- based fieldwork that demonstrates how drivers negotiate next moves with one another through their windscreens using embodied signals such as gestures, lip-reading, and head nods to coordinate and manage a traffic situation. Finally, we consider the implications for how fully autonomous vehicles might be designed to take into account the subtle negotiations that road users engage in to coordinate with one another.

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