What humans want in an automated car

Agreeable, conscientious and stable. These are three human personality traits that, it turns out, we want to see in our driverless cars regardless of whether we possess them ourselves, according to a new study from the University of Michigan.

U-M researchers set out to examine how a person’s perception of safety in an autonomous vehicle was influenced by the degree to which the vehicle and the rider seemed to share certain “personality” traits.

“We wanted to answer the question: If we want to encourage people to use autonomous vehicles, how can we design the vehicles’ perceived personalities, or driving styles, so that drivers are more willing to adopt them?” said Lionel Robert, associate professor at the School of Information and core faculty at U-M’s Robotics Institute.