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  1. null (Ed.)
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available October 1, 2022
  2. Objective: Identify factors that impact parents’ decisions about allowing an unaccompanied child to ride in an autonomous vehicle (AV). Background: AVs are being tested in several U.S. cit-ies and on highways in multiple states. Meanwhile, suburban parents are using ride sharing services to shuttle children from school to extracurricular activities. Parents may soon be able to hire AVs to transport children. Method: Nineteen parents of 8- to 16-year-old children, and some of their children, rode in a driving simulator in autonomous mode, then were interviewed. Parents also participated in focus groups. Topics included minimum age for solo child passengers, typesmore »of trips unaccompanied children might take, and vehicle features needed to support child passengers. Results: Parents would require two-way audio communication and prefer video feeds of vehicle interiors, seat belt checks, automatic locking, secure passenger identification, and remote access to vehicle information. Parents cited convenience as the greatest benefit and fear that AVs could not pro-ect passengers during unplanned trip interruptions as their greatest concern. Conclusion: Manufacturers have an opportunity to design family-friendly AVs from the outset, rather than retro-fit them to be safe for child passengers. More research, especially usability studies where families interact with technology prototypes, is needed to understand how AV design impacts child passengers. Application: Potential applications of this research include not only designing vehicles that can be used to safely transport children, seniors who no longer drive, and individuals with disabilities but also developing regulations, policies, and societal infrastructure to support safe child transport via AVs« less