International Comparison of Perceptions of Autonomous Vehicle Safety

Autonomous vehicles (AVs) are envisioned to reduce road fatalities by switching control of safety critical tasks from humans to machines. Realizing road safety benefits on the ground depends on technological advancement as well as the scale and rate of AV adoption, which are influenced by public perceptions. Employing multilevel structural equation modeling, this paper explores differences in perceptions of AV safety across 41,932 individuals in 51 countries. At the individual level, the authors investigate what types of people have the most positive perceptions of current and future AV safety. The authors find that those who are younger, highly educated, and fully employed and have higher incomes report higher current perceptions of AV safety and fewer years until AVs are safe enough for them to use. The authors also find that an individual’s familiarity with AVs is a strong predictor of their perceptions of AV safety. At the country level, the authors measure small but significant differences in national average perceptions of AV safety unaccounted for by individual-level characteristics. In particular, the authors demonstrate that current road safety conditions in the countries surveyed partially explain this variance in national average perceptions and predictions of AV safety. These country level results suggest that public perception of AV safety may accelerate the adoption of AV technology in developing economies that currently face the greatest road safety challenges, and could help reduce the existing global disparity in road safety.

  • Supplemental Notes:
    • This paper was sponsored by TRB committee ABE20 Standing Committee on Transportation Economics.
  • Corporate Authors:

    Transportation Research Board

  • Authors:
    • Moody, Joanna
    • Bailey, Nathaniel
    • Zhao, Jinhua
  • Conference:
  • Date: 2019


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Digital/other
  • Features: References;
  • Pagination: 7p

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01697820
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: 19-05012
  • Files: TRIS, TRB, ATRI
  • Created Date: Dec 7 2018 9:38AM