The effect of autonomous vehicle reliability on people’s intention to use them
Autonomous vehicles or AVs are the latest and most technological innovation of the automotive industry. AVs could bring many potential benefits by drastically reducing material requirements, air emissions, costs, travel times and accidents. However, it has been determined that people are very reluctant in their intention to use AVs. And one variable that seems missing from the theoretical framework regarding the intention to use AVs is that of reliability. The goal of this research is to dive deeper into the realm of AV reliability and explore the effect of technology and system reliability on the intention to use AVs. The following research question has been formulated: what is the effect of technology reliability and system reliability on the intention to use autonomous vehicles? Technology reliability refers to the probability that the driving technology works without failures for a certain period of time. System reliability refers to the probability that the system around AVs works satisfactory to limit uncertainty about trip time. Based on the research question, two hypothesises were developed: (H1) technology reliability has a positive effect on the intention to use AVs and (H2) system reliability has a positive effect on the intention to use AVs. To answer the two hypothesises, both an experiment and focus group were conducted. The experiment was done via an online questionnaire among Dutch respondents. Respondents were randomly distributed over four scenarios regarding the combination of; high or low technology reliability and high or low system reliability. Each respondent was shown one newspaper article containing one of the four scenarios. The focus group consisted of 8 Dutch respondents with different educational backgrounds. The results showed that technology reliability has a positive effect on the intention to use AVs. This was due to the high importance of safety related issues with technology reliability. The system reliability has no significant effect on the intention to use AVs. This was due to the familiarity of variating travel times in our current daily travel with cars and public transports. Based on the results, the minimum requirement is to have a self-driving technology which is at least or more reliable than that of human driving. It is further recommended to look at the many factors influencing the assessment and consequences of (un)reliability to help determining the level of AV reliability needed in order to make the implementation of AVs a success.
Faculteit der Managementwetenschappen