The Influence of Feelings While Driving Regular Cars on the Perception and Acceptance of Self-Driving Cars

This article reports on a study undertaken to examine how people’s feelings regarding driving traditional cars may affect their perceptions of risk and other aspects of trust in self-driving or autonomous cars. The authors conducted a nationwide, online survey in the United States (completed responses used in analysis, n = 1484). The authors note that, due to most respondents’ limited experiences with and knowledge of self-driving cars, they hypothesized that feelings related to a similar experience, namely, driving regular cars, would influence judgments of self-driving cars. Results showed that while positive feelings of enjoyment predicted higher benefit perception and trust, negative affect predicted higher risk and higher benefit perception of self-driving cars. The authors discuss these results and other factors including feelings of control, risk and benefit perception, and the role of negative affect for judgments of use and acceptance. They found that interest in using a self-driving car was also predicted by lower risk perception, higher benefit perception, and higher levels of trust in the technology. The study also investigated the acceptance of self-driving cars in special use conditions, such as solo use of a self-driving car by a child ages 13 to 17. They conclude that in the case of self-driving cars and other new technologies, these results underscore the importance of considering how these technologies disrupt individuals’ senses of autonomy and control.


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  • Accession Number: 01714545
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Feb 8 2019 11:39AM