What are Vulnerable Road Users’ Perceptions and Expectations on Autonomous Vehicles?

Public perceptions play a crucial role in wider adoption of Autonomous Vehicles (AVs). This paper aims to make two contributions to the understanding of public attitudes toward AVs. First, the authors explore opinions regarding the perceived benefits and challenges of AVs among vulnerable road users – in particular, pedestrians and bicyclists. Second, the paper evaluated whether interaction experiences with AVs influence perceptions among vulnerable road users. To explore this, the authors examined survey data collected by Bike PGH, a Pittsburgh based organization involved in programs to promote safe mobility options for road users. Analysis of the data revealed that respondents with direct experience interacting with AVs reported significantly higher expectations of the safety benefits of the transition to AVs than respondents with no AV interaction experience. This finding did not differ across pedestrian and bicyclist respondents. The results of this study indicate that as the public increasingly interacts with AVs, their attitudes toward the technology is more likely to be positive. Thus, this study recommends that policy makers should provide the opportunities for the public to have interaction experience with AVs. The opportunities can be provided through legislation that allows auto manufacturers and technology industries to operate and test AVs on public roads. This interactive experience will positively affect people’s perceptions and help in wider adoption of AV technology.

  • Supplemental Notes:
    • This paper was sponsored by TRB committee ANF20 Standing Committee on Bicycle Transportation.
  • Corporate Authors:

    Transportation Research Board

  • Authors:
    • Penmetsa, Praveena
    • Adanu, Emmanuel Kofi
    • Wood, Dustin
    • Wang, Teng
    • Jones, Steven L
  • Conference:
  • Date: 2019


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Digital/other
  • Features: References;
  • Pagination: 4p

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01697836
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: 19-00278
  • Files: TRIS, TRB, ATRI
  • Created Date: Mar 1 2019 3:51PM