Graduation Year

2015

Document Type

Thesis

Degree

M.S.C.E.

Degree Name

MS in Civil Engineering (M.S.C.E.)

Degree Granting Department

Civil and Environmental Engineering

Major Professor

Yu Zhang, Ph.D.

Co-Major Professor

Abdul Pinjari, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Pei-Sung Lin, Ph.D.

Keywords

Autonomous Vehicles, Consumer Perception, Intended Adoption, Public Opinion, Surveys, University

Abstract

Emerging automotive and transportation technologies, such as autonomous vehicles (AVs) have created revolutionary possibilities in the way we might travel in the future. Major car manufacturers and technology giants have demonstrated significant progress in advancing and testing AV technologies in real-life traffic conditions.

Results from multi-population surveys indicate that despite enjoying moderate familiarity with AVs, more than 40% of the respondents were likely to use them when they become available. Simply looking at the demographic differences without paying any regard to the perceptions might suggest that the demographic differences are the primary causal factors behind the differences observed in the intended adoption of AVs. This study investigates the role of demographics and other factors (current travel characteristics, crash history and familiarity with AVs) on consumers’ perceptions and intended adoption of AVs with a view of disentangling one factor from the other. Results show that the observed demographic differences in intended adoption rates are due to demographic differences in the perceptions on the benefits and concerns of AVs.

The study outcomes suggest that it may be beneficial to first address consumers’ perceptions on the benefits and concerns regarding AVs. The results from this study can be used to inform modeling decisions and policy discussions relevant to future market penetration of AV technology.

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