Toyota’s Collaborative Safety Research Center to Study Societal Acceptance of Connected and Automated Vehicle Technologies

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New studies designed to explore how drivers engage with intelligent machines and advanced safety technologies

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (Nov. 15, 2017) – Toyota’s Collaborative Safety Research Center (CSRC) today announced five new research projects focused on better understanding how drivers use and respond to advanced vehicle technologies, including automated driver assistance systems. The new projects, undertaken in partnership with five U.S. research institutions, will launch as part of CSRC Next, the Center’s new five-year program designed to support and inform a safe transition to future mobility.

Emerging vehicle technologies, including automated driver assistance systems, offer tremendous promise to help improve road safety, but important questions remain about the most beneficial interaction with drivers, and how drivers can be educated about their safe operation. Four of the five research projects will focus on societal acceptance and generate data-driven insights into the use of these technologies. This data can help support their effective integration, foster safer driving behaviors, and offer potential countermeasures to risky driving behavior.

“The development of advanced vehicle technologies may be progressing faster than the ability of some people to fully understand their capabilities, and it’s important to identify how drivers actually understand and use these emerging systems,” said Chuck Gulash, director of CSRC. “By working with our partner institutions, and openly sharing our insights with the broader automotive, government, NGO, and technology communities, we believe we can help progress society’s acceptance of these new and promising technologies.”

The five research projects will launch in partnership with George Mason University, Rockville Institute, University of Washington, University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute, and San Francisco State University. Data from each project will be shared across the institutions to help speed research, with the results made public to support the advancement of auto safety industrywide.

Launched in May 2017, CSRC Next builds upon the insights gained from the CSRC’s first five years to direct $35 million towards safety research into advanced vehicle technologies. CSRC Next also supports ongoing research programs at the Toyota Research Institute (TRI) and Toyota Connected (TC) to help accelerate the development of automated and connected driving technologies and services.

Since its launch in 2011, CSRC has initiated 60 research projects with 26 partner universities, publishing more than 200 papers and presenting at multiple industry conferences. CSRC projects have made meaningful contributions to auto safety industrywide, including research into human factors on vehicle safety and the efficacy of active and passive safety systems, as well as the collection of driving safety data and development of new tools to analyze that data.

The new CSRC Next research projects include:

Project Title Description Institution

A Neuroergonomic Evaluation of Mental Model Development
of Future Automated Driving Technologies

This project is aimed at objectively determining (through neuroergonomic methods) how different factors impact mental model development and evolution of advanced safety technologies.

George Mason University

A Naturalistic Driving Evaluation of Mental Model Development of Future Automated Driving Technologies

This project will develop a taxonomy of mental model development of automotive safety technologies by determining in a naturalistic driving setting how users develop and maintain mental models as AV safety technologies are integrated into the vehicle.

Rockville Institute

Effectiveness of Short and Long Term Education Methods to Enhance Risk Mitigation and Associated Safety-Related Driving Skills

The aim of the project is to develop analytical models that can capture and identify changes in driver performance that are indicative of risk mitigation behavior and to assess the effectiveness of candidate behavioral countermeasures aimed at curbing future risk.

University of Washington

Guidelines for Development of Evidenced-Based Countermeasures for Risky Driving

The overall project objective is to create a set of guidelines that can be used to inform the development of risky driving countermeasures that are evidence-based, guided by theory, and lead to sustained behavioral change.  This will be done by identifying the underlying constructs of current, and future, risky driving behaviors, identifying driver attributes that contribute to the performance of these risky behaviors, and finally, ascertaining the behavior change theories that are mostly likely to create lasting change.

University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute

Effective Stimuli and Behavior for Driving Safety in Automated Driving

This project provides a proof of concept that appropriate behaviors toward perceived risks can be generated automatically and effortlessly after a short form of training that links stimuli to adaptive behavioral dispositions.

San Francisco State University

Toyota (NYSE:TM) has been a part of the cultural fabric in the U.S. and North America for 60 years, and is committed to advancing sustainable, next-generation mobility through our Toyota and Lexus brands. During that time, Toyota has created a tremendous value chain as our teams have contributed to world-class design, engineering, and assembly of more than 33 million cars and trucks in North America, where we operate 14 manufacturing plants (10 in the U.S.) and directly employ more than 46,000 people (more than 36,000 in the U.S.).  Our 1,800 North American dealerships (nearly 1,500 in the U.S.) sold almost 2.7 million cars and trucks (2.45 million in the U.S.) in 2016 – and about 85 percent of all Toyota vehicles sold over the past 15 years are still on the road today.

Toyota partners with community, civic, academic, and governmental organizations to address our society’s most pressing mobility challenges. We share company resources and extensive know-how to support non-profits to help expand their ability to assist more people move more places. For more information about Toyota, visit

Brian Lyons
[email protected]

Ming-Jou Chen
[email protected]


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