A Department for Transport dialogue project, co-funded by the Sciencewise programme, has commenced to explore the public acceptability of connected and automated vehicles (CAVs).
What are connected and autonomous vehicles?
Connected and autonomous vehicles use a range of technologies to augment or replace human driving, informed by shared information from connections to infrastructure, other vehicles and other sources.
Why a dialogue now?
We are on the cusp of a potential transport revolution. Understanding the public’s informed views about this technology is absolutely critical if the potential benefits are to be realised and the potential downsides mitigated. A deliberative approach was therefore recommended to DfT in a related independent report, with the Sciencewise programme chosen as a good fit for this piece of work.
How will the CAV dialogue outputs be used?
The project outputs will be used by the Department for Transport – along with results from other social and behavioural research and pilot projects – to inform future CAV transport policy, strategy and regulations as well as future engagement plans. It is also hoped that they will be used by industry to help inform the development of the technology itself.
Patrick Corcoran, Department for Transport, commented:
“There has been so much work done on the technological side in this area, with the social and behavioural aspects under-researched. I am really excited to gain a much deeper understanding of what the public’s concerns are by going through this public dialogue process.”
How will the dialogue be structured?
The project will report in late Spring 2019 with three rounds of public dialogue workshops taking place in autumn 2018 at five locations around the UK: Abergavenny, Glasgow, Millbrook, Milton Keynes and Leeds. Participants at three of these locations will also have the opportunity of experiencing aspects of the technology.
An Oversight Group has been formed by DfT to bring independent oversight to the process and development of materials. The Group includes stakeholders with a range of different perspectives on the topic.
The dialogue process is being designed and managed by Traverse, following a mini competition run through the Sciencewise framework.
3KQ have been appointed to evaluate the project.
Find out more
Further details will be provided once the project is complete.
For further information on the dialogue project, please contact:
Patrick Corcoran, Department for Transport (email@example.com)
Philippa Lang, UK Research and Innovation (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Marianne Shelton, K Research and Innovation (email@example.com)
 Cohen, T., Jones, P. & Cavoli, C., 2017. Social and behavioural questions associated with automated vehicles. Scoping study by UCL Transport Institute. Final report, London: Department for Transport.