Pleasure in using adaptive cruise control: A questionnaire study in The Netherlands

<p><b>Objective</b>: Adaptive cruise control (ACC), a technology that allows for automated car following, is becoming increasingly prevalent. Previous surveys have shown that drivers generally regard ACC as pleasant but that they have to intervene when the ACC reaches its operational limits. The former research has been mostly concerned with specific car brands and does not fully reflect the diversity of ACC types in traffic today. The objective of the present research was to establish the determinants of pleasure in using ACC.</p> <p><b>Methods</b>: A 55-item online questionnaire was completed by Dutch users of diverse ACC systems.</p> <p><b>Results</b>: Respondents (<i>N</i> = 182) rated their ACC highly, with a mean score of 8.0 on a scale from 1 (<i>extraordinarily negative</i>) to 10 (<i>extraordinarily positive</i>) and were most pleased with ACC on high-speed roads and in low-density traffic. Moreover, the findings point to specific operational limits such as associated with cut-in situations. Pleasure was greater for the types of ACC that are able to decelerate to a full stop, according to 48% of our sample. An analysis of the free-response items indicated that respondents who were displeased with ACC mentioned its occasional clumsiness and the dangerous situations it may evoke, whereas those who were pleased with ACC valued the complementarity of human and machine and emphasized the roles of responsibility and experience in using ACC.</p> <p><b>Conclusion</b>: Pleasure in using ACC is a function of both technological advances and human factors.</p>