Pioneer Research Study

Project Background

The Virginia Tech Transportation Institute is seeking volunteers in the Spokane, Washington and Virginia areas for two confidential studies. First, the ADAS study, is conducting research on drivers of 2018 or newer vehicles equipped with driver assist systems such as those that help you stay in your driving lane. A second research study, named “Pioneer” is collecting substance use data.

To be eligible for the Pioneer research study, interested volunteers must:

  • Be at least 18 years old
  • Enroll in the ADAS study examining how people drive cars equipped with driver assistance systems (ADAS), such as adaptive cruise control or lane keep assist.
  • Have used marijuana (cannabis) multiple times in the last 30 days
  • Have a smart phone and be willing to install and use a free VTTI app named Data Diary
  • Be willing to routinely use your smart phone to complete brief app-based surveys and submit breathalyzer and monthly oral fluid samples yourself with easy-to-use equipment provided by VTTI.

All data are strictly confidential, and your privacy is both locally and federally protected by a Certificate of Confidentiality issued by the National Institute of Health. With this Certificate, neither the researchers nor study sponsors can be forced to disclose information that may identify you, even by a court subpoena, in any federal, state, or local civil, criminal, administrative, legislative, or other proceedings.

*NEW!* Pioneer is now recruiting volunteers in Virginia due to recent legalization. Please call 540-231-1583 or follow the “How To Sign Up” link below for more information. Enrollment is now open for both new and currently enrolled ADAS participants (IRB#19-445).

Volunteers will be compensated for their time. Participants in all locations have the option for an initial 3 month enrollment (up to $500 compensation for participation in both studies) with the potential to extend their participation up to the full 14 months (up to $1,600 compensation for participation in both studies). This research has been reviewed and approved by the Virginia Tech Institutional Review Board (IRB #19-785).

To learn more, you may reach the VTTI Volunteer Coordination Team at 540-231-1583 or follow the “How To Sign Up” link:

How to Sign Up Not Interested? Tell us why.
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Locations

Select your location to view more information.

Enrollment at this location is now open. Call 540-231-1583 or sign up to hear about future research opportunities in your area.

Study Tasks Compensation
ADAS Washington Pioneer Total (for 3 months) Total (for 14 months)
ADAS Washington
  • Participate in consent interview via Zoom
  • Provide consent and image of yourself
  • Complete intake survey
  • Allow technician to install in vehicle
$100 N/A $100 $100
Pioneer
  • Complete intake surveys
  • Substance use data collection equipment activation session
N/A $50 $50 $50
ADAS Washington
  • Drive as you normally would
  • Send USB thumb drive back to VTTI every month using VTTI provided self-addressed, stamped envelopes
$50 per month, remitted at 3-month intervals N/A $150 $950
Pioneer
  • Complete confidential substance use journals, breathalyzers, and oral fluid samples throughout the study
N/A $50 per month $150 $800
ADAS Washington
  • Allow technician to remove equipment from vehicle
  • Complete exit survey
$50 N/A $50 $50
Maximum Total Possible for fully completing both ADAS Washington and Pioneer study timelines $500 $1,600

 

The above compensation reflects dual enrollment in the Pioneer and ADAS Washington studies. If you leave the study early during the middle of a month, the payment for that month will be pro-rated.
 

What to Expect

iBeacon device and Pioneer equipment

iBeacon device and Pioneer equipment

If you participate in the Pioneer project, we will collect data on your use of marijuana (cannabis), alcohol, medications, and other substances. We will ask you:

  • to complete a brief subtance use questionnaire each time you drive (~30-90 seconds/per trip), using a free and secure VTTI app installed on your Smartphone
  • to perform a breathalyzer test, using provided equipment, only when you are driving alone and prompted by the app to do so (included in the above ~30-90 seconds/per trip)
  • to swab some oral fluid from your mouth, about once a month, as prompted by the VTTI app, using sterile cotton applicators provided by us; then ask you to mail them to a secure, independent lab site in a self-addressed, stamped envelope we provide (~5-10 minutes)

Throughout the study, the research team will ensure your privacy is protected:

  • If you decide to take part, your privacy will be both locally and federally protected by a Certificate of Confidentiality through the National Institute for Drug Abuse (NIDA) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). With this Certificate, neither the researchers nor study sponsors can be forced to disclose information that may identify you, even by a court subpoena, in any federal, state, or local civil, criminal, administrative, legislative, or other proceedings.
  • The How will my identity be kept secure?lab results from your self-administered drug test kit (once a month) will be treated as confidential. Your identity will not be shared with the testing laboratory and the results can only be accessed by select authorized research personnel.
  • The recording of your data is NOT live. It will not be viewable in real time. None of the equipment will automatically alert the researchers of any findings while you are driving.
  • Subtance use data will not be associated with your identity and will be stored securely.
  • Your data will be assigned a random participant number, ensuring that your personal information will never be associated with the recorded data.

FAQs

  • Someone on our research team can explain the details of this research study to you further over the phone. Please give us a call at 540-231-1583. You are welcome to ask all the questions you want before you decide, and we will keep any information you give us as strictly confidential. We will not sell your information or use it for any advertising purposes.
  • Participation is voluntary and you are always free to change your mind and exit the study at any point without penalty.
  • Your data will not be linked to your name or identity.
  • The video, other data, and any additional information that could be used to identify you will be held under a high level of security and only accessed by select authorized research personnel.
  • If you decide to take part, your privacy will be both locally and federally protected by a Certificate of Confidentiality through the National Institute for Drug Abuse (NIDA) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). With this Certificate, neither the researchers nor study sponsors can be forced to disclose information that may identify you, even by a court subpoena, in any federal, state, or local civil, criminal, administrative, legislative, or other proceedings.
  • Any information that could be used to personally identify you will be stored separately from your substance use data. Your data will be held in strict confidence. Each participant will be assigned a random ID number, such as #10. Privacy provisions prevent your identity from being linked to your data. More details on this will be provided should you move forward in the screening process and prior to scheduling any appointments.
  • If you decide to take part, your privacy will be both locally and federally protected by a Certificate of Confidentiality through the National Institute for Drug Abuse (NIDA) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). With this Certificate, neither the researchers nor study sponsors can be forced to disclose information that may identify you, even by a court subpoena, in any federal, state, or local civil, criminal, administrative, legislative, or other proceedings.
The operation or drivability of the vehicle should not be affected by the instrumentation. The system is very unobtrusive. VTTI has successfully instrumented over 4,000 vehicles to date and will not affect your vehicle performance. Please visit the ADAS Washington page for more information.
  1. Contact the VTTI Recruitment Group at 540-231-1583 to see if you meet all the eligibility requirements or use the “sign up” button to complete a short survey where you can leave your name, number, and a way to contact you.
  2. If eligible, talk with a member of the research team on video chat to help you enroll in the study (~1 hour of consent review and paperwork).
  3. Complete intake surveys that assess your attitude and behavior related to the use of substances (~30 minutes or less).
  4. Install the free Data Diary app on your smartphone. A researcher will assist you with setting up this app. and other equipment (~30-45 minutes of training).
  5. Each driving trip provide a brief report using the app on your phone about your recent cannabis, alcohol, or other substance use (~30-90 seconds/per trip).
  6. Each time you drive alone and are prompted by the app, complete breathalyzer assessment at the beginning of the trip (included in ~30-90 seconds/per trip).
  7. On occasional driving trips, about once a month, provide an oral fluids sample and mail the sample to the laboratory using a pre-marked and stamped envelope; this should take about 5-10 minutes.
The breathalyzer device used in this research is for data collection purposes only. It has no connection to law enforcement; the data are not ‘live’ or in real time. . Your data will not be connected to your personal information, you will be assigned a random ID number, such as #10. Privacy provisions prevent your identity from being linked to your data.
Taking part in research is completely up to you. Any information you give us will be discarded unless you consent to be contacted by VTTI for future research opportunities. You can decide to participate or not to participate. If you decide to take part, you are always free to change your mind and exit the study at any point without penalty.

Resources