Acceptance of Self-driving Cars: An Examination of Idealized versus Realistic Portrayals with a Self- driving Car Acceptance Scale

Despite enthusiastic speculation about the potential benefits of self-driving cars, to date little is known about the factors that will affect drivers’ acceptance or rejection of this emerging technology. Gaining acceptance from end users will be critical to the widespread deployment of self-driving vehicles. Long-term acceptance may be harmed if initial acceptance is built upon unrealistic expectations developed before people interact with these systems. A brief (24-item) measurement scale was created to assess acceptance of self-driving cars. Before completing the scale, participants were randomly assigned to read short vignettes that featured either a realistic or an idealistic description of a friend’s experiences during the first six months of owning a self-driving car. A small but significant effect showed that reading an idealized portrayal in the vignette resulted in higher acceptance of self-driving cars. Potential factors affecting user acceptance of self-driving cars are discussed. Establishing realistic expectations about the performance of automation before users interact with self-driving cars may be important for long-term acceptance.


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  • Accession Number: 01712912
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: May 24 2019 4:05PM