Study: Women Are Better at Controlling Driverless Cars Than Men

Study: Women are better than men at controlling driverless cars
A team from Newcastle University in England conducted the research, first published in Scientific Reports, to control cars with Level 3 autonomy, as defined by the Society of Automotive Engineers โ€“ meaning they can move on their own. under certain circumstances, but human drivers must be ready to step in if needed.

And research has found that certain demographics have slower reaction times, meaning they need to be alerted to specific dangers sooner.

The study showed that 33 female drivers and 43 male drivers drove a simulator that recreated the control of a Level 3 car without a driver in a Newcastle University laboratory. The age of the participants ranged from 20 to 81 years.

Participants were asked to read aloud from an iPad that was on the left side of the steering wheel while sitting in the driver’s seat of the simulator. After one minute, audio and visual alerts are issued to the vehicle blocking the lane ahead and the vehicle is asked to take over while maintaining the current speed.

From this moment, the participants have 20 seconds to find the danger, change lanes and avoid the accident.

The test was conducted at two speedsโ€”30 mph and 60 mphโ€”and in clear rain, snow, and fog, with visibility of 3,280 feet, 1,312 feet, 656 feet, and 328 feet.

And the results provide some interesting insights, with the study claiming to “show significant gender differences in L3 AV takeover performance.”

Compared to male participants, “females recorded a lower percentage of immediate withdrawals.”

This is when the driver controls the car for hands on the wheel, feet on the pedals and eyes on the road. Executives made 17 “quick takeovers” and men 23, although this was said not to be “statistically significant”.