Autonomous Vehicles: How Societal Opinions can Affect this Technology

Yocom, Jack, School of Engineering and Applied Science, University of Virginia
Elliott, Travis, EN-STS Dept, University of Virginia
Furukawa, Tomonari, EN-Mech/Aero Engr Dept, University of Virginia

For my technical project, autonomous vehicles were studied and a team of five students worked to develop an autonomous vehicle throughout the year. We took a golf cart from Club Car, added sensing, actuation, and computing systems, and tried to get the cart to drive itself. We were able to control each actuator digitally via a joystick, and were able to create maps of the golf cart’s environment using a stereo camera and LiDAR. In examining past research on autonomous vehicles, I noticed the large amount of people surveyed who are nervous or scared about these cars sharing the roads with us. Thus, I wanted to examine this phenomenon in my STS research. I found a plethora of opinions, and also created a survey so that I could try to answer questions for the autonomous vehicle industry. The survey was centered around people’s feelings towards autonomous vehicles and then different potential aspects of the vehicle to try to change people’s opinion to the better. Using this in combination with past research on this subject, I believe the path forward to ensure autonomous vehicle success is laid out.

BS (Bachelor of Science)
Autonomous Vehicle, Autonomy, Actuation, Sensors
Sponsoring Agency:
Club Car
Issued Date: