The University of Southampton are undertaking a study that is setting out to explore whether people are capable of spotting a driverless vehicle from one with a human behind the wheel.
Participants will be shown a five second clip of a vehicle driving on a motorway and making a lane change. They will then be asked to decide whether the car in question has a driver or not.
The researchers estimate that the process will require approximately 10 minutes from each participant, and all they request is that the individuals have a valid driving license, plus at least one year of experience driving on the roads.
“The study will help us to understand the effect of new vehicle automated systems on driving behaviour and cognitive abilities. We hope that the results will help to detect potential problems before the automated systems are launched on the market,” the researchers say.
It forms part of the wider European Commission backed Human Factors for Automated Driving project, which aims to explore some of the issues that society faces during the roll out of driverless technology.
Suffice to say, the study only explores whether people can spot a driverless car rather than any of the numerous other issues that people may have with them, but this side of things remains largely unexplored so it is a useful first step nonetheless.
You can take part in the study via the following link