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Faculty & Staff Honors

Florida: Interdisciplinary Team Receives Funding to Study Perceptions of Autonomous Vehicles

A University of Florida College of Public Health and Health Professions team has received a grant from the Paralyzed Veterans of America to elucidate the perceptions of adults living with a spinal cord injury and/or disease as it relates to self-driving vehicles. If they adopt this mode of transportation, autonomous vehicles may provide an equitable transportation opportunity for individuals with spinal cord injury or disease.

Led by principal investigator, Dr. Sherrilene Classen, a professor and chair of the UF Department of Occupational Therapy, participants in the study will provide their perceptions of autonomous vehicles before and after riding in an autonomous shuttle. Information gained from this research will inform clinicians, rehabilitation scientists, community partners, manufacturers and care partners of opportunities and barriers to improve interaction with autonomous vehicles for individuals with spinal cord injuries. Their perceptions and feedback may lead to important steps toward transportation equity for such individuals.

The UF research team also includes Dr. Justin Mason, a postdoctoral associate in occupational therapy, Dr. Emily Fox, a research assistant professor in the Department of Physical Therapy and Brooks Rehabilitation Hospital, and Dr. Babette Brumback, a professor in the Department of Biostatistics.

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