What is it about?

Autonomous vehicles are being tested in several U.S. cities and on highways in multiple states. Meanwhile, suburban parents are using ridesharing services to shuttle children from school to extracurricular activities. Parents may soon be able to hire self-driving vehicles to transport children. This paper describes the factors that parents would consider when deciding if they would allow a child to ride in a self-driving vehicle without an adult, including vehicle safety & communication features, child's age and decision-making ability, and remote access to information about vehicles.

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Why is it important?

Potential applications of this research include not only designing vehicles that can be used to safely transport children, seniors who no longer drive, and individuals with disabilities but also developing regulations, policies, and societal infrastructure to support safe child transport via autonomous vehicles.


Self-driving vehicles are already being tested and used in several US locations, and they will become increasingly common in the future. We as a society need to be prepared for parents needing to use these vehicles to safely transport children, as well as use by adults with cognitive and physical limitations that prevent them from obtaining drivers licenses.

Patrice Tremoulet
Rowan University

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Transporting Children in Autonomous Vehicles: An Exploratory Study, Human Factors The Journal of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society, July 2019, SAGE Publications,
DOI: 10.1177/0018720819853993.
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