School of Civil Engineering

Retelling the Story of Automated Vehicles: Investigating the Effects of Presentation Strategies in Acceptance Studies

The transport system is going through an evolution, and mobility is facing a historic change. In recent years we see increasing levels of automation, where technology is taking control of larger parts of the driving task, and it is expected to keep evolving until vehicles become fully automated. This raises the question, will the public adopt those new highly automated vehicles? Despite the safety, convenience, environmental and economic benefits to individuals and society, acceptance studies have shown mixed results varying from highly positive to total rejection. Consistently throughout those studies there was a clear preference to keep some manual control over the vehicle. Nevertheless, the validity and predictability of these findings are questionable, mainly because current stated attitudes are likely to change in the future, as people acquire more knowledge and experience. Past research has shown that when prospective products are concerned, employing intentional mental simulation can serve as a surrogate to actual experiences and is likely to result in more reliable attitudes and intentions. Mental simulation is a cognitive technique for creating an internal visual representation of dynamic scenarios and behavioural episodes.

This current study aims to investigate the effects of different techniques for presenting automated vehicles on the formation of mental images, and to study how these images affect attitudes towards and willingness to use them. The study will compare two main approaches for presenting information about the vehicles: (1) the traditional “technical” approach, as used in most previous studies, providing an instrumental description of the technology; and (2) a simulative-experiential approach, which encourages more consideration of contextual details.

This study is designed to identify the conditions in which people are more likely to accept higher levels of automation and will help to inform the planning and implementation of AVs for future mobility.

11:00am - 12:00pm

Monday, 3 December 2018


AEB Boardroom 601
Advanced Engineering Building 49