Public acceptance of driverless shuttles in Norway
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionTransportation Research Part F: Traffic Psychology and Behaviour. 2019, 66 162-183. 10.1016/j.trf.2019.09.002
The main objective of the present study is to evaluate individuals’ views on the usefulness of driverless shuttles and to examine if the provision of better access to public transit (thanks to the connection provided by shuttles) would make them consider public transit in the future. The survey was carried out amongst members of the Norwegian Automobile Federation (n = 1419). The results indicated that a large share of the sample (71.8%) did not evaluate driverless shuttles as useful. Cluster members who stated that it was unlikely that the implementation of driverless shuttles would make them use the public transit more were more worried concerning the safety and security issues, the greatest concern being traffic safety (accidents). Cluster members who stated that it was likely that they would use the public transit more had more trust in the ability of the authorities to reduce the risk of accidents, and they accepted having more automation in future buses. Developers of shuttles, city governments, transport operators, and other authorities should consider the findings of this study in order to develop specific measures to increase the acceptance of automation in the transport sector. We recommend better informing the general public about the procedures for implementing driverless shuttles in mixed traffic and the safety and security requirements for the vehicle automation system. It is crucial to explain the measures (e.g. comprehensive risk analysis, site inspection, laws and regulations) that will be set out to ensure that no incidents or accidents will occur. In the meantime, the actors should do their utmost to reassure passengers and other road users by demonstrating the effectiveness of the safety and security systems.