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What Kind of Personality Do We Want Self-Driving Cars to Have?

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Most of us want to drive a car with personality. But when you’re riding in an autonomous vehicle, your car’s personality is more than just an aesthetic — it dictates the way it behaves on the road. Just as human drivers have personalities, AI can be programmed to display certain personality traits and temperament quirks on the road. And based on the results of a study by the University of Michigan, humans prefer their virtual chauffeurs to display some key personality traits.

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What traits make a good artificial driver?

The study found that passengers preferred AI that demonstrated emotional stability, self-controlled, conscientious behavior, and a considerate, agreeable personality.

The researchers surveyed 443 participants. First, the subjects surveyed their own personalities. Then, they were put into a simulated autonomous vehicle that demonstrated both aggressive and conscientious driving in both sunny and snowy weather.

Regardless of how the passengers scored their own personality traits, they strongly preferred stable, self-controlled, and considerate cars. Naturally, people who considered themselves to be stable, self-controlled, and considerate felt the least safe in an aggressive vehicle.

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Guiding the future of AI

Even though the industry is pushing towards autonomous vehicles, safety remains a top concern for most potential passengers. Our perceptions can make or break the success of a technology, so it’s critical that the automotive industry pays attention to people’s feelings. While it’s essential that a car has the latest safety technology and driver-assist tools, it’s also important to understand what makes people feel safe in a self-driving car.

Experts suggest that future autonomous ride-hailing services could match your vehicle’s behavior to your personality traits for a more comfortable experience.

Source: CNET