We use cookies to improve your website experience. To learn about our use of cookies and how you can manage your cookie settings, please see our Cookie Policy. By closing this message, you are consenting to our use of cookies.

Safety Impacts and Benefits of Connected and Automated Vehicles

Journal of Intelligent Transportation Systems

During the past several years, we have witnessed a growing interest and investment in advanced transportation technologies with the hope that connected/cooperative and automated vehicles will lead to real increases in safety, mobility and sustainability in the near future. This hope is based on research which suggests that the causes of many fatal vehicle crashes are linked to drivers. Hence, the popular notion is that connected and automated vehicles of the future will drastically improve traffic safety because humans will no longer operate vehicles or vehicles will be able to take over control when the driver needs help.

We have witnessed a variety of entities, including those from government and industry, begin to deploy demonstrations and field tests of autonomous vehicles and low-speed automated shuttles. Researchers, scientists, and engineers are investing significant amounts of effort and resources to develop relevant and supporting technologies. A variety of conferences, workshops, and meetings have been organized to discuss related topics that range from the algorithms used to control connected and automated vehicle systems to regulations, legal issues, ethics and cybersecurity.

With all the investments already made and more coming in the future in connected and automated vehicles, we need to remember the original motivation for these vehicles – the safety and mobility of the users. The development of future transportation technologies must consider the capabilities and limitations of users as well as their expectation and understanding about the role of human versus machine in environments where they may no longer control their vehicle.  The history of autonomous vehicles is one of fevered movement forward (e.g., Autonomous Highway Systems in the 1990s) and then a giant leap backward in terms of public acceptance and government interest.  This back and forth can be traced in no small measure to the fact that the human user was not given full consideration.

Consequently, this special issue will examine the impacts, the potential safety benefits and the unintended consequences of connected and automated vehicles on users. Topics of interest include, but are not limited to:

  • Impacts of vehicle technologies and connected and automated vehicles on driver performance and behavior, including technologies to detect driver state;
  • Impacts of vehicle technologies and connected and automated vehicles on other road users such as pedestrians and bicyclists;
  • Impacts of vehicle technologies and connected and automated vehicles on the mobility of drivers with fitness and capability impairments which otherwise make it unwise or impossible for them to drive;
  • Human factors issues central to the difference between the car as a guardian versus the car as a chauffeur;
  • Human factors issues related to vehicle technologies and connected and automated vehicles such as the design of the driver-vehicle interface and its role in the transfer of control or the signaling of vehicle intent;
  • Perception, expectation, and acceptance of users of vehicle technologies and connected and automated vehicles derived from experimental or survey data of actual demonstrations;
  • Safety impact assessments of vehicle technologies and connected and automated vehicles derived from simulation studies or field tests which incorporate models of the human driver; and
  • Methodologies to assess the safety benefits of vehicle technologies and connected and automated vehicles which include information on how to measure the behavior of the human driver.


Important Dates

  • Submission open: February 1, 2019
  • Submission end date: October 31, 2019


  • Authors of relevant papers are encouraged to contact the Guest Editors for any feedback about the topics/scope of the Special Issue.

Dr. C. Y. David Yang,
AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety

Dr. Donald Fisher,
Volpe National Transportation Systems Center,
US Department of Transportation

Dr. Linda Boyle,
University of Washington