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The article by Kyriakidis, Happee, and de Winter (2015) entitled “Public opinion on automated driving: Results of an international questionnaire among 5000 respondents” was published in the Transportation Research Part F journal. The research presented in the article aimed at the analysis of users’ attitudes toward automated vehicles across different demographic groups and countries. The researchers attempted to identify the advantages and disadvantages of the partially, highly, and fully automated driving as perceived by the users from diverse backgrounds to clarify the main concerns (Kyriakidis, Happee & de Winter 2015).
The overall purpose of the study is to investigate the nature of global public opinion on automated vehicles use with regards to their main concerns related to security, costs, and control. These findings are expected to facilitate the manufacturers’ operations not only in the direction of vehicle production but also in regards to public perception, legal issues, and taxation.
The researchers justify their study by articulating the potential of automated vehicles in resolving the issues of fatal car incidents and the reduction of air pollution. In their opinion, it is essential to integrate the knowledge about the public’s attitude toward such technology-driven driving mechanisms to be able to address the challenges and integrate automated driving on a broader scale (Kyriakidis, Happee & de Winter 2015).
The literature review presents a number of the formerly conducted surveys on automated vehicles which investigated the issue from different angles. They emphasize that the majority of the reviewed studies “are limited to one or two automation levels, and a small number of countries” (Kyriakidis, Happee & de Winter 2015, p. 130). The current research, on the other hand, involves participants from 109 countries who were surveyed about three automation levels and other related concerns.
For their quantitative study, Kyriakidis, Happee, and de Winter (2015) developed a 63-question online survey across 5000 respondents from 109 countries. At the stage of sampling, there were no restrictions for the participants due to the authors’ intention to collect information for the most diverse population. The questions and instructions were formulated in plain language and included the inquiry of specific details.
They included “age, gender, driving frequency, mileage, accident involvement, and preferences/worries regarding manual driving, partially automated driving, highly automated driving, and fully automated driving” (Kyriakidis, Happee & de Winter 2015, p. 131). The retrieved data were analyzed at both individual and international levels using descriptive statistics calculations and correlative analysis.
The responses were collected between “4 July 2014 08:00 and 7 July 2014 04:26 Central European Time” and then were filtered as per the applicability to study requirements (Kyriakidis, Happee & de Winter 2015, p. 131). Ultimately, 114 respondents were excluded from the study due to the lack of confirmation of their acquaintance with the instruction or because of their age (respondents under 18 years old were discarded). The remaining 4886 respondents were included in the following analyses.
The collected data were analyzed from three perspectives, including individual-level analysis, correlational analysis at the individual level, and correlational analysis at the national level. The results of the first perspective indicated that most of the respondents enjoyed manual deriving more than an automated one. Also, the majority of participants thought that a fully automated vehicle is the easiest to use. As for highly and partially automated driving, people indicated that it would be more difficult than manual driving (Kyriakidis, Happee & de Winter 2015). In response to questions concerning data transmission via an automated system of a vehicle, most respondents did not demonstrate significant concern. As the results demonstrate, the questions concerning fully automated driving cause the highest level of disparity in the responses, where some participants completely rejected the idea, and others fully supported it (Kyriakidis, Happee & de Winter 2015).
The correlational analysis at an individual level presented in the form of tables showed the interdependence of the variables. Overall, no significant correlations were identified due to the lack of either gender, age, or country-imposed dependence of the responses (Kyriakidis, Happee & de Winter 2015).
However, it was found that people with higher incomes and those who had already used automated vehicles were more likely to spend costs on automated cars. As for the correlational analysis at the national level, Kyriakidis, Happee, and de Winter (2015) found that the residents of developed countries showed a greater inclination to using and enjoying automated vehicles. There were more female respondents and older drivers from the countries with a high-income level. At the same time, this category of participants showed the highest level of concern about the transmission of data (Kyriakidis, Happee & de Winter 2015). Also, the study found that the majority of users are worried about legal issues and software drawbacks, and misuse.
Overall, the authors of the article justify their findings by their agreement with previous surveys but emphasize more optimistic results due to the higher level of respondents’ expectations from automated vehicles in the future. They conclude with the statement that “69% of people believe that fully automated driving will reach a 50% market share between now and 2050” (Kyriakidis, Happee & de Winter 2015, p. 139). The study is anticipated to provide a thorough statistical basis for automobile industry stakeholders in their endeavors to address the identified concerns.
Kyriakidis, M, Happee, R & de Winter, J C F 2015, ‘Public opinion on automated driving: Results of an international questionnaire among 5000 respondents’, Transportation Research Part F, vol. 32, pp. 127-140.