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Perceptions of autonomous vehicles: Relationships with road users, risk, gender and age

Perceptions of autonomous vehicles: Relationships with road users, risk, gender and age

Hulse, Lynn M. ORCID: 0000-0001-5582-3520, Xie, Hui and Galea, Edwin R. ORCID: 0000-0002-0001-6665 (2017) Perceptions of autonomous vehicles: Relationships with road users, risk, gender and age. Safety Science, 102. pp. 1-13. ISSN 0925-7535 (doi:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ssci.2017.10.001)

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Abstract

Fully automated self-driving cars, with expected benefits including improved road safety, are closer to becoming a reality. Thus, attention has turned to gauging public perceptions of these autonomous vehicles. To date, surveys have focused on the public as potential passengers of autonomous cars, overlooking other road users who would interact with them. Comparisons with perceptions of other existing vehicles are also lacking. This study surveyed almost 1000 participants on their perceptions, particularly with regards to safety and acceptance of autonomous vehicles. Overall, results revealed that autonomous cars were perceived as a “somewhat low risk“ form of transport and, while concerns existed, there was little opposition to the prospect of their use on public roads. However, compared to human-operated cars, autonomous cars were perceived differently depending on the road user perspective: more risky when a passenger yet less risky when a pedestrian. Autonomous cars were also perceived as more risky than existing autonomous trains. Gender, age and risk-taking had varied relationships with the perceived risk of different vehicle types and general attitudes towards autonomous cars. For instance, males and younger adults displayed greater acceptance. Whilst their adoption of this autonomous technology would seem societally beneficial – due to these groups’ greater propensity for taking road user risks, behaviours linked with poorer road safety – other results suggested it might be premature to draw conclusions on risk-taking and user acceptance. Future studies should therefore continue to investigate people’s perceptions from multiple perspectives, taking into account various road user viewpoints and individual characteristics.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Autonomous vehicle; Road safety; Pedestrian; Risk; Gender; Age
Subjects: T Technology > TL Motor vehicles. Aeronautics. Astronautics
Faculty / Department / Research Group: Faculty of Architecture, Computing & Humanities
Faculty of Architecture, Computing & Humanities > Centre for Numerical Modelling & Process Analysis (CNMPA)
Faculty of Architecture, Computing & Humanities > Centre for Numerical Modelling & Process Analysis (CNMPA) > Fire Safety Engineering Group (FSEG)
Faculty of Architecture, Computing & Humanities > Department of Mathematical Sciences
Last Modified: 11 Jul 2018 09:56
Selected for GREAT 2016: None
Selected for GREAT 2017: None
Selected for GREAT 2018: None
URI: http://gala.gre.ac.uk/id/eprint/17846

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