In Pursuit of Emergency Procedures for Automated Driving System-Involved Scenarios 12-04-02-0012
This also appears in
SAE International Journal of Connected and Automated Vehicles-V130-12EJ
As automated driving technology becomes more widely deployed, it is imperative to determine how such operations may impact public safety officials’ interactions with these vehicles. The current study collected responses from 79 public safety officials (i.e., representatives from law enforcement, fire and rescue, and emergency medical services [EMS]) from 22 states in the United States of America (USA) and three Canadian provinces. Participants were surveyed during focus groups and personal interviews with regard to six vehicular scenarios they typically encounter (incident response, scene security, direction and control of traffic, traffic stops/checkpoints, attending to abandoned/unattended vehicles, and vehicle stabilization/extrication) to explore: (1) Their standard protocols in approaching manually driven (civilian) vehicles in these scenarios and (2) How such protocols would necessarily change when approaching an automated driving system (ADS) operating in driverless mode. This exploratory study found that the majority of participant responses (59) focused on the need to know how to disable an ADS-equipped vehicle. Participants also indicated there could be benefits relative to ADS operating in driverless mode, including a reduced number of traffic stops, safer traffic control, and the potential to convey more information when responding to a scene. The study ultimately provides a foundation upon which future studies could build in consideration of automated-vehicle design and enhanced safety operations relative to public safety officials.