Being driven autonomously – A qualitative study to elicit consumers’ overarching motivational structures

Autonomous driving is a cornerstone of the automotive industry’s strategy to meet future mobility needs of consumers. Despite being essential for successful adoption, consumers’ motives regarding fully autonomous vehicles remain unclear. By collecting data from 25 in-depth laddering interviews in Germany and applying means-end chain analysis, the authors qualitatively explore the overarching motivational structures underlying consumers’ perception of autonomous driving with Level 5 automation. The results show three overarching motives: self-fulfillment, security and responsibility. Self-fulfillment relates to the meaningful utilization of disposable driving time for enhancing career success, nurturing social connections, and enhancing one’s quality of life. Security includes the desire for improvements in personal integrity and the fear of insufficient safety while driving fully autonomously. Responsibility expresses the longing to behave in a responsible manner and the fear of accountability for the actions of autonomous vehicles. Contrary to previous findings, the loss of driving pleasure, environmental, and ethical concerns have only secondary relevance. Considering these motivational patterns, the authors draw implications for managers and policy makers to facilitate market penetration and support a successful adoption of autonomous driving vehicles.


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  • Accession Number: 01717476
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Aug 22 2019 3:02PM