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User Perspectives on Intelligent Transportation Systems
KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Transport Science, Traffic and Logistics.
2013 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS), or the advanced use of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in the transportation context, offers new tools in the continual effort to develop an accessible, safe, and sustainable transportation system. In this thesis, focus is placed on ITS targeting individual use or the end users’ transportation experiences, e.g. video surveillance, cashless payments, pedestrian navigation, real-time information, emergency communications, and parking services. For the end user, such services can serve to enhance one’s sense of assurance by reducing uncertainty and facilitating planning and dealing with unforeseen circumstances.

However, ITS and the data collection and processing upon which it is built bring their own challenges, as personal data and privacy are fundamentally intertwined. Individuals’ data is routinely collected, from which one can infer a broad range of activities and lifestyle choices, and which may have implications over time or in other contexts. Perceptions of technology and data use are contextual; what may be considered acceptable or privacy-invasive in one situation and for one purpose may not hold true for other persons, situations, or purposes. Concerns often focus on aspects of anonymity, lack of knowledge or control, function creep, etc. Furthermore, although individual, end users are affected by policies and technologies guiding data collection and processing, they are rarely involved in decision-making processes, offered realistic alternatives, or able to control their own data.

The aim of this thesis is to investigate end users’ perceptions of ITS. As various contexts and factors have proven to influence perception in other research areas, the approach has been to use empirical case studies of different end user groups and ITS systems. Additionally, the case studies vary contexts and contrast potential negative consequences of ITS, such as privacy infringement, with potential positive benefits (which may depend on the circumstances of the particular user group and/or the ITS system), such as increased assurance and independence. Users are surveyed via structured interviews and questionnaires that include items addressing perceptions of benefits/risks, privacy, trust, etc. In investigating ITS from the users’ perspective, this research attempts to paint a more holistic view of the issues surrounding the use of ITS in our daily, mobile lives.

The broad-spectrum conclusions are that the respondents, in general, perceive ITS as relatively beneficial, more so on a general, social level, and feel more reassured due to the systems. Privacy concerns are generally not a major barrier for acceptance in the scenarios presented, although respondents do not necessarily express high levels of trust for the data collectors or low levels of risk for data misuse. Results show that perceptions are influenced by a number of factors, such as: the targeted beneficiary; addressing a specific, personal need; perceived personal control of a situation; the actor (data collector); status within the organization; gender and parenthood. There are also indications that end users feel a sense of resignation due to lack of choice, control, or perceived influence. For example, there is no strong interest in discussing technological applications with companies, government agencies, or elected representatives, nor in searching for information about technological applications irrespective of perceived privacy infringement or acceptability. This may have broader implications, e.g. for decision-making and democratic processes, as perceived lack of influence and perceived lack of interest in participation feed back into each other.

As such, recommendations include informed consent, choice (e.g. opt-in/opt-out), control over one’s personal data, ongoing, two-way dialogue between stakeholders (from the beginning of the design process), comprehensive technological assessments, as well as following through on the use of Fair Information Practices/Principles such as limitation of data collection and use, purpose specification, transparency, individual participation, etc. ITS and data collection and processing are not “silver bullets” able solve all problems via “complete and perfect” information. They are additional tools in the toolbox that bring with them their own challenges related to issues such as privacy, lack of choice/control, and technological accessibility. Thus, efforts should be made to address these new challenges, such as technological mechanisms, personal actions and user participation, and proactive organizational policy and public legislation. The research presented in this thesis serves to remind us that a coordinated effort on multiple fronts is vital in addressing users’ needs and meeting broader social goals.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
KTH Royal Institute of Technology, 2013. , xii, 30 p.
Series
Trita-TSC-PHD, 13:001
National Category
Transport Systems and Logistics
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-122209ISBN: 978-91-87353-02-4 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-122209DiVA: diva2:621461
Public defence
2013-05-31, Kollegiesalen, Brinellvägen 8, KTH, Stockholm, 13:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Note

QC 20130515

Available from: 2013-05-15 Created: 2013-05-14 Last updated: 2013-05-15Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Mobility-Enhancing ICT from an Ethical Perspective: The Case of a Navigation System for Visually Impaired Persons
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Mobility-Enhancing ICT from an Ethical Perspective: The Case of a Navigation System for Visually Impaired Persons
2013 (English)Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

The aim of this study is to empirically investigate the case of visually impaired persons and the possible effects of a tailored pedestrian navigation system on their mobility.  Interview results indicate that with the provision of detailed information about the built environment and public transportation, positive potential effects include an increased ability to travel alone, to travel in unplanned and unfamiliar situations, and to prioritize public transportation use over the use of special transportation services.  In the broader sense, the system may also serve an integrity enhancing function by improving the possibility of leading an independent and autonomous life.  On the other hand, as with all ICT with positioning and monitoring capabilities, its use also poses ethical challenges and may negatively impact privacy.  Privacy perceptions are highly contextual, but the participants’ responses in this context do not indicate high levels of concern for data misuse or being tracked through their data.  This does not, however, translate into an absence of concern over technology’s potential negative impacts on personal integrity.  As the participants’ comments illustrate, ICT development does not necessarily result in ethically sound, universally accessible technology.  While the participants are generally optimistic about the possibilities of using ICT to enhance their mobility, they also emphasize that ICT is not the magic bullet. As such, this study serves to remind us that a coordinated effort on multiple fronts is vital in addressing users’ needs and meeting broader social goals such as social inclusion and the accessibility of transportation, technology, and information.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Washington, D.C.: , 2013
National Category
Transport Systems and Logistics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-102325 (URN)
Conference
92nd Annual Meeting of the Transportation Research Board
Note

QC 20160502

Available from: 2012-09-13 Created: 2012-09-13 Last updated: 2016-05-02Bibliographically approved
2. The Reassuring Affects of ICT in Public Transportation: The Perspectives of Older Adults
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The Reassuring Affects of ICT in Public Transportation: The Perspectives of Older Adults
2013 (English)In: Gerontechnology, ISSN 1569-1101Article in journal (Other academic) Submitted
Abstract [en]

In investigating older adults’ perspectives on ITS related to public transportation, the effect of personal control over ITS use is explored across three scenarios: video surveillance in public transportation, real-time travel information, and a personal, pedestrian navigation system with public transportation information. Swedish respondents’ perceptions indicate neutral effects on privacy and positive effects on one’s sense of assurance across the scenarios, particularly in situations perceived as more vulnerable, such as using the subway and traveling alone or in an unfamiliar setting.  Of the three technological applications, video surveillance (CCTV) elicits the most favorable responses, although this does not directly translate to perceived personal benefit, where real-time information is rated the highest. The navigation system is generally ranked relatively lower for effects on assurance, although this pattern is broken for car and walking modes; modes in which the navigation function may be prioritized.  Thus, personal control over aspects of the trip, rather than personal control over ITS use, better explains the responses, as ITS can serve to reduce (perceived) uncertainties, improving one’s sense of assurance.  Significant differences are found for gender, but not for further age stratification. Overall, female respondents feel relatively less assured when traveling and rate the technological applications’ effects on their assurance more highly than men. Although men express a greater personal interest in technology, it appears that there is more potential for women to positively benefit from technology in terms of greater perceived assurance while traveling.  This calls into question the possibilities of effectively addressing user needs or concerns, especially via technologies intended for individual use, if those who potentially serve to gain more by them are not being reached or are not as interested in such “solutions”.

National Category
Transport Systems and Logistics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-122208 (URN)
Note

QS 2013

Available from: 2013-05-14 Created: 2013-05-14 Last updated: 2013-05-15Bibliographically approved
3. Privacy in the Eighteen-Wheel Workplace
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Privacy in the Eighteen-Wheel Workplace
(English)In: Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, ISSN 0965-8564, E-ISSN 1879-2375Article in journal (Other academic) Submitted
Abstract [en]

The aim of this study is to investigate the situation of professional Heavy Goods Vehicle (HGV) drivers in the mobile workplace; in particular the drivers’ perceptions of privacy regarding the positioning services in their vehicles in contrast to the perceptions of their employers (road haulage companies).  Although mobile technologies are increasingly blurring the distinctions between places of work and non-work, most research on workplace privacy has focused on the traditional office setting.  The empirical interview results indicate that most respondents are pro-technology and trust the employer to protect driver privacy and HGV data.  However, the results also reveal significant gaps in knowledge about what HGV data is collected, in communication between employers and employees regarding data gathering and handling practices, and in expected versus actual behavior modification as a result of workplace monitoring.  The employers are perceived as the greatest beneficiaries of the in-vehicle positioning systems and services, which could be linked to the systematic lack of feedback to the drivers.  As employees are not normally able to provide informed consent due to their dependent position, recommendations for organizations include performing comprehensive impact assessments, engaging in an ongoing dialogue with employees, and providing an opt-out option in order to move towards a more informed consent.

National Category
Transport Systems and Logistics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-102324 (URN)
Note

QS 2013

Available from: 2012-09-13 Created: 2012-09-13 Last updated: 2017-12-07Bibliographically approved
4. Assessing the Benefits of Intelligent Truck Parking
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Assessing the Benefits of Intelligent Truck Parking
2013 (English)In: International Journal of Intelligent Transportation Systems Research, ISSN 1868-8659Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The aim of this paper is to identify and analyze important factors related to the benefits of Intelligent Truck Parking (ITP) for different stakeholders (including the end users) in the context of Heavy Goods Vehicle (HGV) transport. Previous work has neither focused on different types of ITP benefits for HGVs, nor on the end user perspective.  This article identifies benefit areas and attributes as well as stakeholder groups relevant for HGV transport based on a review of previous research and projects.  These benefit areas and attributes are theoretically assessed and compared for different stakeholders using multi-criteria analysis.  Additionally, interview results of Swedish drivers’ and companies’ perceptions of ITP are presented.  Comparing results of the interviews with the theoretical assessment indicates that the end users may not perceive ITP as highly beneficial although they theoretically benefit the most.  Companies, particularly national haulage companies, express a low willingness to pay for ITP.  Both the theoretical assessment and interviews show the potential for ITP to deliver different benefits to different actors across the transport chain.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Springer Science+Business Media B.V., 2013
National Category
Transport Systems and Logistics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-102323 (URN)10.1007/s13177-012-0055-3 (DOI)2-s2.0-84877788119 (Scopus ID)
Funder
TrenOp, Transport Research Environment with Novel Perspectives
Note

QC 20130515

Available from: 2012-09-13 Created: 2012-09-13 Last updated: 2013-05-15Bibliographically approved
5. The Impact of Parenthood on Perceptions of Positioning Technologies
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The Impact of Parenthood on Perceptions of Positioning Technologies
2013 (English)In: Surveillance & Society, ISSN 1477-7487, E-ISSN 1477-7487Article in journal (Other academic) Submitted
Abstract [en]

The aim of this study is to investigate public perceptions of three potentially privacy-invasive technologies relevant to daily mobility – video surveillance (CCTV), positioning via mobile phone, and radio-frequency identification (RFID) tags – via contrasting scenarios and items measuring factors such as acceptance and desirability.  The effect of parenthood on perceptions is also explored and proves to generally shift attitudes in a more favorable direction, i.e. parents perceive higher positive effects and lower negative effects of a technology.  Parenthood also proves to affect males and females differently, where female non-parents often perceive technological applications less favorably than do other groups by having heightened risk perception, lower trust, lower acceptance, etc.  For the aggregate respondent group, the analysis indicates that technologies targeting the “crowd” versus the “individual”, and technologies associated with a non-commercial actor can be linked to a trend of relatively greater acceptability, although this does not necessarily lead to high ratings of trust for these data collectors in the absolute sense.  Also, the least favorably perceived scenario does not elicit particularly high ratings of worry or offense.  These results, combined with a lack of willingness to discuss with influential parties (elected representatives or relevant authorities or companies) and a lack of willingness to search for information about a technology regardless of ratings of acceptance or privacy-invasiveness, lead the authors to submit that the respondents feel a sense of resignation towards technological development.  This may have broad implications for decision-making and democratic processes, as perceived lack of influence and perceived lack of interest in participation feed back into each other, which may further divide laypersons from experts, companies, and authorities.

National Category
Transport Systems and Logistics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-122205 (URN)
Note

QS 2013

Available from: 2013-05-14 Created: 2013-05-14 Last updated: 2017-12-06Bibliographically approved

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