Confidence, safety and security are the most important factors influencing the attitude of passengers towards self-driving cars. Young people rated their personal safety as significantly better than older people.
The results come from a Finnish study on passenger attitudes and experiences towards self-driving cars. The study is also the first in the world to examine passenger experiences of self-driving cars in winter conditions.
The results were published in Transportation Research Part F: Traffic Psychology and Behavior. The study was carried out in collaboration between the University of Eastern Finland and the University of Tampere.
Self-driving cars face huge expectations in Europe and the United States, which is why the experience and expectations of passengers are at the heart of their development. The Finnish study explored the experiences of passengers in Helsinki, the capital of Finland, and Muonio, a small town in Finnish Lapland. In Helsinki, passengers used a driverless shuttle in two test areas. In Muonio, local residents traveled with an autonomous car in severe winter conditions on the main road. The quantitative survey involved 141 people and 70 people participated in a qualitative interview.
The researchers painted a picture of passenger attitudes towards self-driving cars, factors influencing their positive or negative attitudes, and factors likely to encourage passengers to use self-driving cars.
According to the study, people’s positive attitude towards self-driving cars was mostly influenced by trust, safety and security. However, people were not ready to accept the technological mistakes in self-driving cars, although it is understood that the technology is still under development.
Younger passengers were clearly more confident in the safety and security of self-driving cars than older passengers, and students rated their ability to act in an emergency better than that of employees. Winter conditions have not had a significant impact on people’s attitudes towards self-driving cars. There was also no significant difference between the sexes.
“The Finns have a pragmatic approach to new technologies: while the new mode of transport makes everyday life easier and is affordable, there does not seem to be any obstacle to its generalization,” says Professor Arto O. Salonen of the University. from Eastern Finland.
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Material provided by University of Eastern Finland. Note: Content can be changed for style and length.