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Research Shows Negative Attitudes Toward Automated Vehicles Based in Misconceptions and Ignorance

Posted: Aug 1, 2019

MPC researchers at the University of Utah conducted a survey to examine the relationship between consumers' beliefs about automated vehicles, their knowledge of automated vehicles, and their views about technology. The researchers investigated how knowledge of self-driving vehicles, perceived knowledge of self-driving vehicles, and beliefs about technology are shaping attitudes toward self-driving cars and the confidence with which these attitudes are held.

Adoption of fully automated vehicles and the support for policies to put these vehicles on our roads is heavily dependent on public attitudes. Unfortunately, beliefs about driverless cars are mixed. This research indicates that misconceptions and ignorance are responsible for much of the negativity. Consequently, education and communication about fully automated vehicles could be effective in changing consumer attitudes. However, the high levels of confidence of consumers harboring negative views of driverless vehicles suggest that these opinions may be resistant to persuasion. Direct experience with fully automated vehicles, rather than communication, may be necessary to convince skeptical consumers of the merits of the technology.

David Sanbonmatsu, Ph.D.
University of Utah

Cognitive Underpinnings of Beliefs and Confidence in Beliefs About Fully Automated Vehicles

NDSU Dept 2880P.O. Box 6050Fargo, ND 58108-6050