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Profile: Dr. Michael Nees


Michael A. Nees is an Associate Professor and directs the Human Factors, Perception, and Cognition Lab in the Department of Psychology at Lafayette College. He was awarded a Ph.D. in psychology from the Georgia Institute of Technology in 2009. His AV research interests include acceptance of vehicle automation, mental models of automation, and in-vehicle human-machine interfaces.

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

My work approaches vehicle automation through the lens of human factors and engineering psychology. I am interested in understanding, effectively designing, and accurately communicating the roles and responsibilities of humans within these systems.

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

Automation is necessarily imperfect, and my concern is that too little attention has been given to acknowledging and defining the role of the human driver in vehicles with imperfect automation. I also think we need to do more to help drivers develop accurate understandings of automated technologies.

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.