AAAI Publications, 2016 AAAI Spring Symposium Series

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Eliciting Conversation in Robot Vehicle Interactions
David Sirkin, Kerstin Fischer, Lars Jensen, Wendy Ju

Last modified: 2016-03-04


Dialog between drivers and speech-based robot vehicle interfaces can be used as an instrument to find out what drivers might be concerned, confused or curious about in driving simulator studies. Eliciting ongoing conversation with drivers about topics that go beyond navigation, control of entertainment systems, or other traditional driving related tasks is important to getting drivers to engage with the activity in an open-ended fashion. In a structured improvisational Wizard of Oz study that took place in a highly immersive driving simulator, we engaged participant drivers (N=6) in an autonomous driving course where the vehicle spoke to drivers using computer-generated natural language speech. First, using microanalyses of drivers’ responses to the car’s utterances, we identify a set of topics that are expected and treated as appropriate by the participants in our study. Second, we identify a set of topics and conversational strategies that are treated as inappropriate. Third, we show that it is just these unexpected, inappropriate utterances that eventually increase users’ trust into the system, make them more at ease, and raise the system’s acceptability as a communication partner.


Autonomous vehicles; Human-robot interaction; Conversation analysis

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