VTTI is paying people to drive their own advanced technology cars

The Virginia Tech Transportation Institute (VTTI) is looking for drivers of certain luxury vehicles in Northern Virginia to participate in a year-long study that may contribute to the understanding of the use of future vehicle technology. All participants will be compensated; the maximum amount for full participation is $3,850.

Find Out More

About the Study

The purpose of this study is to understand how drivers with advanced automation technology will use a smart phone-based Advanced Traveler Information System (ATIS). The ATIS presents relevant, real time data in a mobile application. The ATIS equipped mobile device will be provided to study participants and vehicles will be instrumented with a data collection system. The data collection system will collect video data but no live audio data will be collected.

Benefits and Risks of Participating


  • Through the mobile application, you will receive real-time messages that will make you a more informed driver, including:
    • Congestion
    • Weather events
    • Traffic incidents
    • Safety events
    • Work zones
  • You may benefit society in multiple ways, including:
    • Providing a better understanding of how connected vehicle technology can reduce congestion and aid drivers
    • Providing a better understanding of how advanced automation and connected vehicle technology interact and affect driving behavior
  • You will experience how some connected and automated technologies may work together in the future


  • The normal risk present while driving your own vehicle.
  • There may be some additional risk associated with driving while using the VCC mobile app, which has been designed for use while driving (this risk is anticipated to be minimal).
  • Any risk associated with driving in areas that don’t allow cameras can be eliminated by avoiding those areas altogether.
  • All efforts will be made by VTTI to secure any data that is collected while you drive to minimize any risk associated with privacy or security issues. VTTI takes this very seriously, and we’ve effectively protected the privacy and data of our participants.


Activity Compensation Amount
System Installation $125
Monthly compensation for ongoing participation $3,600 ($300 x 12 months)
System Deinstallation $125
Total Compensation for Full Participation $3,850

Compensation will be pro-rated should you decide to withdraw early from the study.

To be eligible, you must:

Drive a vehicle with Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC).

  • Your vehicle is able to automatically keep pace with the car in front of you without you having to touch the gas or brakes.

If you are unsure if your vehicle is eligible, contact us!

Regularly drive on one of the following roads in Northern Virginia:

  • Interstate 66
  • US Route 29
  • US Route 50
  • Interstate 495

What does the study involve?

Step 1: Agree to Participate

  • Provide your consent to participate
  • Perform driver assessments through online tool
  • Schedule installation appointment

Step 2: Installation

Have VTTI's low profile data collection equipment installed in your vehicle

Step 3: Get paid to drive your own vehicle

  • Participants will simply be expected to go about their daily commutes while receiving real traffic updates about their driving environment
  • Schedule occasional appointments with VTTI to exchange data

Step 4: Complete your participation

Have VTTI’s data collection equipment deinstalled at the end of your participation


Data collection equipment will be installed in your vehicle as part of this study. The pictures provided are from actual installations, but each installation may be slightly different depending on the make, model, and trim level of your vehicle. Every effort will be made to make the equipment invisible to the driver and passengers.

The data collection equipment will be installed in the trunk behind the seats. When the seats are upright, the data collection equipment cannot be seen from inside the car.

Part of the data collection equipment will be mounted to the windshield. From the driver’s seat, a small portion of this camera can be seen below the rear-view mirror, otherwise it is out of the driver’s field of view.

There will be two more small cameras installed in the vehicle cabin, one mounted on the ceiling near the sun roof, and one near the rear windshield facing rearward. All wires are concealed under the vehicle’s paneling so they are not visible.

The installation will not damage the vehicle.


If you are interested in participating and would like more information, please contact us and reference the Elite study in your message.


About Us

The Virginia Tech Transportation Institute (VTTI) conducts research to save lives, time, and money and protect the environment. As one of seven premier research institutes created by Virginia Tech to answer national challenges, VTTI is continually advancing transportation through innovation and has impacted public policy on national and international levels.

VTTI has grown to become the second largest university-level transportation institute in the U.S. with more than 475 employees. VTTI has effected significant change in public policies for driver, passenger, and pedestrian safety and is advancing the design of vehicles and infrastructure to increase safety and reduce environmental impacts.

Our Experience

VTTI is conducting more than 270 active studies just like this one and has successfully installed systems and collected data on 4,000+ drivers.

VTTI values their participants and has a track record of protecting their privacy and security.

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