User Perceptions of the Risks of Electric, Shared, and Automated Vehicles Remain Largely Unexplored

Advocates of electric, shared, and automated vehicles (e-SAVs) envision a future in which people no longer need to drive their privately owned, petroleum-fueled vehicles. Instead, for daily travel they rely on fleets of electric, automated vehicles that offer travel services, including the option to share, or “pool,” rides with strangers. The design, deployment, and operation of e-SAVs will require widespread willingness of users to share with strangers vehicles that are capable of fully automated driving. To achieve the environmental and societal goals of e-SAVs it is critical to first understand and address safety and security concerns of potential and actual users. Researchers at the University of California, Davis, reviewed the literature to understand potential users’ perceptions of safety and security risks posed by intertwined social and technical systems of e-SAVs and proposed a framework to advance research, policy, and system design. This policy brief summarizes the findings of that work and provides policy implications.