Isabelle Wandenkolk, a Rehabilitation Science doctoral student in the Department of Occupational Therapy’s Institute for Mobility, Activity, and Participation (I-MAP) team, collaborates with the Department of Veterans Affairs to better understand the perceptions of rural Veterans as it relates to the acceptance and adoption of automated vehicle technology.
Under the mentorship of Dr. Sherrilene Classen, professor and chair in the Department of Occupational Therapy, and co-mentor Dr. Nichole Stetten, research assistant professor in the Department of Occupational Therapy, Wandenkolk will oversee all operating activities, including recruitment and data collection.
Automated vehicle technology revolutionizes the transportation system by offering many advantages through safety, health, cost-effectiveness, and reduced carbon footprint. This technology may allow mobility-vulnerable Veterans who are not fit to drive or who do not have access to public transportation to continue participating in society. Given the rapidly changing transportation environment, findings from this study are critical to plan for optimal societal integration of mobility-vulnerable Veterans, as well as future VA transportation planning.