Advanced Vehicle Technology (AVT) Consortium

Advanced, Data-driven Technology and Driver Engagement
Sponsor MIT AVTParticipate in MIT AVT Studies

What is the AVT Consortium?

The Advanced Vehicle Technology (AVT) Consortium, launched in 2015, is a global academic-industry collaboration aiming to develop a data-driven understanding of how drivers across the lifespan use and respond to various vehicle technologies—looking in-depth at system performance and the effects on driving behavior, as well as consumer attitudes. The consortium is both a research endeavor and a community. Its datasets—collected by MIT researchers from real drivers in the real world—are among the largest of this kind. The AVT Consortium brings together stakeholders across the automotive, technology, and insurance industries along with consumer-focused research organizations to provide analysis, insights, and a forum for discussion. The Consortium and its members are working toward a better understanding of the challenges that today’s drivers experience, as well as the related opportunities to promote better system design and user experience that enhance safety, convenience, and comfort in a rapidly evolving mobility landscape.

Our Research

Major research themes include:

  • Assistive/automated driving support
  • Non-driving related activities and distractions
  • Human-centered considerations in user engagement
  • Safety of vulnerable road users
  • Driving behavior across technologies and context
  • Consumer attitudes and understanding of new technologies
  • The electric vehicle experience

Approaches & Data

AVT Consortium researchers gather real-world naturalistic data from drivers and consumers to gain insights about how new technologies are used in real-world driving conditions, how they impact behavior, and differences in system performance. Specifically, the researchers conduct two major driving studies:

  1. The MIT Field Operational Study loans participants new vehicles with advanced technology systems.
  2. The Owners Naturalistic Driving Study instruments participants’ vehicles with data logging equipment. (Currently looking to add Tesla Model 3 owners/drivers.)

Data collection first began in 2016, and has focused on range of vehicles, including: Tesla models S, X, and 3 vehicles equipped with Autopilot; Range Rover Evoque vehicles with a range of advanced driver assistance features, Volvo S90 vehicles equipped with Pilot Assist; Cadillac CT6 vehicles equipped with Super Cruise, and Ford Mach-E vehicles equipped with Blue Cruise. The research effort periodically adds new vehicles as technologies of particular interest to the membership are introduced into the marketplace. Recorded data streams include IMU sensors, GPS tracking, CAN messages, and high-definition video of the driver’s face and body positioning, the driver cabin, the forward roadway, and the instrument cluster. In addition to obtaining a vast amount of objective data, researchers also collect data through questionnaires and interviews to provide additional insight on the user experience.


Founding members are the MIT AgeLab, Touchstone Evaluations, and Agero. AVT Consortium members include:
  • Agero
  • Allstate
  • Aptiv
  • Arriver
  • Audi
  • Autoliv
  • BMW of North America
  • Bosch
  • CCC Intelligent Solutions
  • Consumer Reports
  • Google
  • Honda
  • Insurance Institute for Highway Safety
  • Jaguar Land Rover
  • JD Power
  • Lear
  • Liberty Mutual
  • Nissan
  • Polestar*
  • Progressive
  • Seeing Machines
  • Smart Eye
  • State Farm
  • Subaru
  • Thatcham Research
  • The LAB (GIE Stellantis & Groupe Renault)
  • Toyota
  • TravelCenters of America
  • Travelers
  • Veoneer
  • Volvo Car Corporation*
  • Zenseact
*Member Affiliate (majority owned by a listed member or part of the same legal structure as a member)


Samantha Haus Presents at TRB on Effects of Electric Cars, Assistance Systems on Driving Behavior

February 6, 2024

Results from the study indicated that the use of driver assistance systems is related to increased rates of speeding among drivers, but also may result in safer driving, as indicated by less sudden acceleration and deceleration events. Drivers of electric vehicles were also more likely to speed and to exhibit a greater tendency toward sudden speed changes, but over time, these differences decreased, likely because the drivers became more accustomed to operating the unfamiliar vehicle.

Bryan Reimer named to US Department of Transportation innovation committee

January 29, 2024

Bryan Reimer has been appointed by the U.S. Department of Transportation (DoT) to the Transforming Transportation Advisory Committee (TTAC). The committee advises the DoT and the secretary of transportation about plans and approaches for transportation innovation.

Bryan Reimer Talks Driver Assistance Systems for Travelers Institute Webinar

September 13, 2023

Dr. Bryan Reimer sat down for an episode of the “Wednesdays with Woodward” webinar series, hosted by the Travelers Institute, as he shared insights from MIT’s Advanced Vehicle Technology Consortium, which studies real life drivers in and around New England operating some of today’s most tech-forward vehicle models.


Recent Publications

Gershon, P., Mehler, B. & Reimer, B. (2023). Driver response and recovery following automation-initiated disengagement in real-world hands-free driving. Traffic Injury Prevention.

Gershon, P., Mehler, B. & Reimer, B. (2023). Drivers’ response to automation initiated disengagement in real-world hands-free driving. Proceedings of the 27th International Technical Conference on the Enhanced Safety of Vehicles (ESV). Yokohama, Japan.

Mehler, B., Gershon, P. & Reimer, B. (2023). Evaluating and rating the safety benefits of advanced vehicle technologies: developing a transparent approach and consumer messaging to maximize benefit. Proceedings of the 27th International Technical Conference on the Enhanced Safety of Vehicles (ESV). Yokohama, Japan.

AVT Leadership

Bryan Reimer

Bryan Reimer

Research Scientist, MIT Center for Transportation and Logistics and MIT AgeLab

Founded and co-directs the AVT consortium. His research focuses on the intersection of user experience, technology, and public policy. He works extensively with the automotive and insurance industries to enhance decision makers’ understanding of the implications of today’s driver assistance and active safety systems, driver attention, and the transition to an automated and electrified mobility system that maximizes safety, convenience, comfort, as well as economic and environmental sustainability.

Pnina Gershon

Pnina Gershon

Research Scientist, MIT Center for Transportation and Logistics and MIT AgeLab

Co-directs the AVT Consortium and leads the naturalistic research team. Her work at the AVT consortium provides theoretical and applied insights into driver behavior when using advanced technologies and automation. Through collaboration with industry and policymakers, Dr. Gershon delivers solutions for the next generation of transportation challenges and shapes the future of mobility.

Bruce Mehler

Bruce Mehler

Research Scientist, MIT Center for Transportation and Logistics and MIT AgeLab

Co-directs the AVT Consortium. His research interests at MIT have included the use of objective physiological, eye glance, and performance metrics, in addition to subjective report, in workload assessment, individual differences in response to cognitive demand and stress, attention management, and how individuals adapt to new technologies and user interfaces (HMIs)—each proving relevant to current AVT efforts.

Alea Mehler

Alea Mehler

Technical Associate, MIT Center for Transportation and Logistics and MIT AgeLab

Project management, including responsibilities for overseeing subject recruitment, training, and data operations.