How Comfortable Are You With Autonomous Technology? Take the MIT Survey

Posted by


This year at the NEMPA/MIT Technology Conference, we’re working with Car Talk, MIT and the New England Motor Press Association to develop a complete picture of how comfortable American drivers are with autonomous technology.

The MIT AgeLab is presenting a survey that asks pointed questions about your experience, interest and knowledge of autonomous technologies. Check it out!

The results of the survey will be presented at the NEMPA/MIT Technology Conference on Thursday, May 26. The survey results are part of the this year’s conference theme: The Intersection of Technology and Design, which will present a panel discussion exploring trends and challenges as autonomous technology meets the natural aesthetic appeal of the automobile.

“As the framework for mobility in the United States begins to shift from one of personally-owned, manually-driven vehicles to one of a shared and perhaps partially automated fleet, established driver perceptions about their trust and comfort in various vehicle technologies is critical to our understanding as to how one needs to facilitate behavior change,” says Bryan Reimer, Ph.D., a Research Scientist in the MIT AgeLab and the Associate Director of The New England University Transportation Center at MIT.


The survey not only delves into our comfort level with the technology, but our level of trust in the suppliers of that technology. “It is clear that the powerhouses of Silicon Valley may be key players in the future of the automotive industry,” says Reimer. “The degree to which we will trust these technology companies to produce automated vehicles over traditional legacy manufactures is not clear.”

What will the self-driving vehicles of the future look like?

What materials will vehicles be made of?

How will autonomous technology begin to influence the design of our automobiles?

These are the questions that panelists will be answering, and the information provided in the survey will set the stage for the discussion.

The survey is posted at Qualtrics, the world’s leading research and insights platform, and should take less than 5 minutes to complete. The survey asks a few questions about your current car, and a series of 10 questions that gauge your experience and comfort with the technology. Your zip code is required to gauge any regional trends, but it’s completely anonymous and asks for no personal information.


“The myth about automation is that as the level of human responsibility decreases so do the need for education,” says Reimer. “Given that we are rapidly increasing the level of automated vehicle technology it is an open question as to where people are going to learn how to appropriately use it.”

The survey is open from April 26 to May 15. Results will be presented on May 26th at the NEMPA/MIT Technology Conference.

Searching for a new or used car? Try BestRide’s search for comprehensive local listings.

Craig Fitzgerald

Craig Fitzgerald

Writer, editor, lousy guitar player, dad. Content Marketing and Publication Manager at