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Profile: Dr. Dustin J. Souders


Dr. Dustin J. Souders is an assistant professor in the Department of Psychology at Clemson University working in human factors, aging, and transportation safety. His research focuses on leveraging advanced vehicle technologies, from advanced driver assistance systems to fully autonomous vehicles, to safely maintain older adults’ mobility. Dustin uses a range of methods including driving simulator studies and usability evaluation methods to investigate individuals’ perception and use of advanced vehicle technologies.

PAVE: How does your work align with our mission to educate the public on AV technology and its promise?

Educating all stakeholders on AVs’ capabilities, limitations, and potential impacts is key to assuring that policies and practices will encourage safe reliance on lower-level driver assistance systems, incentivize the most beneficial iterations at higher levels of automation, and will help skeptics realize how their quality of life might benefit from vehicle automation.

PAVE: What are current barriers you see in public acceptance of automated vehicles?

Appropriate trust calibration is a big issue influencing overreliance on driver assistance systems as well as a lack of confidence in higher-level vehicle automation. Emphasizing what different systems are capable of and where they might fall short of users’ expectations can help assure their safe and beneficial use.

About the Academic Advisory Council: PAVE’s academic partners help to guide PAVE on its mission of promoting fact-based public discussion about automated vehicles. Council members serve in a strictly advisory capacity, providing PAVE and its members with opinions and recommendations related to AV technology and its societal effects.