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TEKNOKONVERGENS-Teknologikonvergens - grensesprengende forskning og radikal innovasjon

Digitalization of the road sector and its consequences: the role of driving

Alternative title: Konsekvenser av digitalisering i veitransportsektoren: sjåføren og samfunnet

Awarded: NOK 8.0 mill.

An article in progress on different experiences with digitalization in personal cars draws on empirical material consisting of 37 qualitative interviews with private car drivers about the use of driving assistance technologies (DA). The objective of the analysis is to explore how drivers actively, through processes of appropriation and adaption, make use of DA technologies and how such technologies are made part of or shape existing driving practices. The article will be important in highlighting a user perspective on the questions of how increased digitalization and automation is affecting driving behavior and ideas about road safety and mobility. At the institut for psychology, the survey of truck drivers has been implemented within the reporting period, but the response rates were low (about 40 answers) due to limited access to truck drivers during the pandemic. Therefore, a new survey, which targets a general population sample, was developed addressing how different degrees of automatization of private vehicles is perceived. The study will start in autumn 2021. Furthermore, planning of the eye-tracking study with drivers has started, which is expected to be implemented in spring 2022. Three articles are in progress. The first, is on transport planning, nature, and animals, is currently undergoing editorial development in Engineering Studies and is soon to be published. The second, which charts different approaches to socio-technical change within the transport sector, is currently in peer-review and a third about "Testing emergent technologies in the Arctic: How attention to place contributes to challenge visions of autonomous vehicles" is soon to be published in Science and Technology Studies. In addition, we have continued to seek out arenas for dissemination: we have been invited to hold presentations for the Norwegian Public Roads Administration and the trade union Buss- og sporveiarbeidernes forening, have written feature articles in the newspaper iTromsø and the professional publication Veier24, and held a presentation at NTNU?s Young Researchers? Night.

This social science project will investigate the current and future role of drivers in a digitalized transport sector to meet the goals of Transport 2025 of generating knowledge and solutions for the development of an integrated, future-oriented transport system that meets the needs of trade, industry and society at large for effective, sustainable transport. By studying drivers of automated vehicles in different areas the project will generate crucial knowledge on driver attitudes, practices and expectations with potential impacts on safety and society at large. Our approach focus on three mobility domains: freight transport, public transport and private transport. To explore these cases, DRIVERS build on insights from Science and technology studies and Psychology, bridging traditional transportation studies approaches and applying a mixed methods approach. The project has developed an innovative methodological tool box consisting of qualitative, quantitative and state-of the art workshop and scenario exercises. The methods included are: interviews and ride-alongs with around 40 drivers of ordinary cars with various degrees of automation. B) Interviews and ride-alongs with at least 20 bus drivers driving different types of automated busses. C) Interviews and ride-alongs with at least five trailers at the new E8 road and a survey ofprofessional drivers (N=300), to probe understandings, expectations and experiences amongst this group. Our approach underscores the societal aspects of innovation, and the need for innovators, regulators and public authorities to reflexively engage with societal dilemmas related to automated vehicles. The proposal also addresses the second aspect of the call and draw on RRI methods to reflexively make scenarios and deliberations for building an inclusive, sustainable and effective transport system.

Publications from Cristin

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TEKNOKONVERGENS-Teknologikonvergens - grensesprengende forskning og radikal innovasjon