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Americans Prefer Driving By Themselves Than An Autonomous Vehicle Drive Them

Researchers, from Washington University have revealed that people in the US would rather drive themselves than have an autonomous vehicle

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You have been out on the road, so, you know that not everyone is a good driver. Wikimedia Commons

Researchers, including one of Indian-origin, from Washington University have revealed that people in the US would rather drive themselves than have an autonomous vehicle drive them.

Many Americans use a ride-hailing service — like Uber or Lyft — to get to and from work. It provides the privacy of riding in a personal car and the convenience of catching up on emails or social media during traffic jams.

In the future, self-driving vehicles could provide the same service, except without a human driver.

“The average person in our sample would find riding in a driverless car to be more burdensome than driving themselves. This highlights the risks of making forecasts based on how people say they would respond to driverless cars today,” said study senior author Don MacKenzie.

For the findings published in the journal Transportation, the research team studied how Americans’ perceived cost of commute time changes depending on who’s driving.

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Many Americans use a ride-hailing service — like Uber or Lyft — to get to and from work or. Pixabay

Through a survey, the team found that people considered a ride-hailing service at least 13 per cent “less expensive,” in terms of time, compared to driving themselves.

If the researchers told people the ride-hailing service was driverless, however, then the cost of travel time increased to 15 per cent more than driving a personal car, suggesting that at least for now, people would rather drive themselves than have an autonomous vehicle drive them.

During the survey, the research team asked people across the continental US to select between a personal car or a ride-hailing service for a 15-mile commute trip.

Half the 502 respondents were told that the ride-hailing service was driverless.

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The researchers converted the responses to a score of how much respondents deemed that trip would cost per hour.

“If someone values their trip time at $15 per hour, that means they dislike an hour spent travelling as much as they dislike giving up $15, so a lower number means that the time spent travelling for that trip is less burdensome,” said study co-author and Indian-origin researcher Andisheh Ranjbari.

According to the researchers, driverless cars aren’t commercially available yet, so people are not familiar with them or may be leery of the technology. (IANS)

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Listening to Music While Driving Can Reduce Cardiac Stress

In a Study, Listening to music attenuated the moderate stress overload the volunteers experienced as they drove

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Listening to Music can be a preventive measure in favour of cardiovascular health in situations of intense stress such as driving during rush hour. Pixabay

Stress while driving is a risk factor for the development of cardiovascular disease and sudden cardiac complications such as heart attack, but now researchers have found that listening to Music while driving can reduce cardiac stress.

“We found that cardiac stress in the participants in our experiment was reduced by listening to music while they were driving,” said study lead author Vitor Engracia Valenti, Professor at Sao Paulo State University in Brazil.

For the study, published in the journal Complementary Therapies in Medicine, researchers analysed the effects of music on cardiac stress in five women between the ages of 18 and 23.

“We opted to assess women who were not habitual drivers because people who drive frequently and have had a license for a long time are better adapted to stressful situations in traffic,” Valenti explained.

The volunteers were assessed on two days, in different situations and in a random order.

On one day, they drove for 20 minutes at rush hour (5:30-6:30 pm) along a three km route in a busy district of Marilia, a medium-sized city in the northwest of Sao Paulo, without listening to music.

On the other day, the volunteers drove the same route at the same time of day but listened to instrumental music on a CD player coupled to the car radio.

The use of earbuds or headphones while driving is a traffic offense.

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Stress while driving is a risk factor for the development of cardiovascular disease and sudden cardiac complications such as heart attack, but now researchers have found that listening to Music while driving can reduce cardiac stress. Pixabay

“To increase the degree of traffic stress, we asked them to drive a car they did not own. Driving their own car might help,” Valenti said.

The level of cardiac stress was estimated by measuring heart rate variability using a heart rate monitor attached to the participant’s chest.

Defined as fluctuations in the intervals between consecutive heart beats, heart rate variability is influenced by the autonomic nervous system.

The more active the sympathetic nervous system, the faster the heart beats, while the parasympathetic nervous system tends to slow it down.

“Elevated sympathetic nervous system activity reduces heart rate variability, whereas more intense parasympathetic nervous system activity increases it,” Valenti said.

Analysis showed a reduction in heart rate variability in the volunteers who drove without music, indicating a lower level of parasympathetic nervous system activity but sympathetic nervous system activation.

Conversely, heart rate variability increased in the drivers who listened to music, indicating a higher level of parasympathetic nervous system activity and a reduction in sympathetic nervous system activity.

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The level of cardiac stress was estimated by measuring heart rate variability using a heart rate monitor attached to the participant’s chest while listening to Music. Pixabay

However, the sample size used in the study was too small but significant.

“Listening to music attenuated the moderate stress overload the volunteers experienced as they drove,” Valenti said.

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“Listening to music could be such a preventive measure in favour of cardiovascular health in situations of intense stress such as driving during rush hour,” he said. (IANS)