WHAT DO YOU look like when you’re excited? How about a little nervous? Bored? Full-on freaked out? If you happen to hop on one of the two very special shuttles that are now running one-mile loops around the University of Michigan’s North Campus, a bunch of people with fancy degrees may very soon find out.
Those shuttles, you see, will drive themselves. And these researchers are affiliated with the University of Michigan, the marketing firm JD Power, and Navya, the French maker of autonomous vehicle tech. They’re going to spend the next year studying how humans interact with, use, and feel about the autonomous vehicles, with the help of rider and community surveys, Wi-Fi data, and camera footage from inside and outside the vehicle. (The shuttles will come with human operators onboard, to deal with passengers and take control of the vehicle if there’s an emergency.)