Automated vehicles (AVs) are a trending development among vehicle manufacturers. Supporters of these driverless cars point to potential benefits of safer driving conditions, smoother traffic flow, and increased mobility for individuals who cannot drive. However, public attitudes toward AV adoption are mixed, ranging from apprehension to enthusiasm. Future adoption of AVs will likely depend on individuals’ acceptance or rejection of the new technology.
Previous research in AV technology acceptance studies provide insights in potential attitudes that influence AV acceptance and adoption, such as safety and privacy concern. UC Davis plans to launch a self-driving electric shuttle in January 2019. The shuttle will operate in the West Village area before expanding to the main campus and city. The researchers of this project plan to survey West Village workers and residents before the shuttle’s operation, recording their opinions on AV technology and acceptance. The researchers will then conduct another survey four months after the shuttle begins operation. They hope that the study will provide data on public attitude, facilitators and barriers of AV adoption, and market influences of future AVs.