Contested Spaces, Shared Concerns
Road Interactions from the Perspective of Three User Groups
AbstractRoadways are sociocultural spaces constructed for human travel which embody intersections of technology, transportation, and culture. In order to navigate these spaces successfully, autonomous vehicles must be able to respond to the needs and practices of those who use the road. We conducted research on how cyclists, solid waste truck drivers, and crossing guards experience the driving behaviors of other road users, to inform the development of autonomous vehicles. We found that the roadways were contested spaces, with each road user group enacting their own social constructions of the road. Furthermore, the three groups we worked with all felt marginalized by comparison with car drivers, who were ideologically and often physically dominant on the road. This article is based on research for the Nissan Research Center - Silicon Valley, which took place as part of a Design Anthropology course at the University of North Texas.
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