Applied Robotics for Installations and Base Operations: User Perceptions of a Driverless Vehicle at Fort Bragg

Report No. ARL-TR-8265
Authors: Kristin E Schaefer; Ashley N Foots; Edward R Straub
Date/Pages: January 2018; 44 pages
Abstract: The US Army Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center?s Applied Robotics for Installations and Base Operations (ARIBO) program at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, provided one of the first US-based living laboratories that allowed Soldiers the opportunity to directly interact with a driverless, robotic transport vehicle. Passengers and potential future passengers from the Warrior Transition Battalion (WTB) and Womack Area Medical Center were given the opportunity to provide user feedback during Phase 1 (driver operated) and Phase 2 (safety operator) of development of the vehicle. A total of 26 people including safety operators, passengers, bystanders, and Soldiers from the WTB provided feedback related to trust and acceptability of the vehicle autonomy, as well as design recommendations for increasing future passenger and pedestrian comfort and trust in the driverless transport vehicle. Overall findings suggest that even minimal exposure to robotic systems can increase positive ratings of trustworthiness and acceptability of the future autonomous capabilities of a driverless transport vehicle. However, the vehicle could benefit from a number of design features and capabilities to better communicate its decision-making processes and intent to passengers, pedestrians, and other road users.
Distribution: Approved for public release
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Last Update / Reviewed: January 1, 2018