Teenagers and Automated Vehicles: Are They Ready to Use Them?
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AuthorMourtzouchou, Andromachi; Raileanu, Ioan Cristinel; Grosso, Monica; Duboz, Louison; Cordera Piñera, Rubén; Alonso Raposo, Maria; Garus, Ada; Alonso Oreña, Borja; Ciuffo, Biagio
© 2022 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license.
Applied Sciences, 2022, 12, 12255
ABSTRACT: Mobility needs, expectations, and concerns vary across age groups and are closely linked to users' views on the future of the road transport system. Automated vehicles are expected to have a significant impact on the future of the road transport system, and pilot deployments are increasingly being tested in Europe and beyond, which is also thanks to the evolving regulatory landscape. As a result, several studies have started to analyse citizens' attitudes towards this technology. However, very few studies have focused on teenagers' views on automated vehicles, although today's children and teenagers could be among the first users of such vehicles. Studying teenagers and the way they envisage automated vehicles in the future is of particular significance in defining transport planning strategies and supporting upcoming policy orientations. To cover this gap, the present study aims to explore teenagers' views about automated vehicles and whether and how they could fit into their future transport setting. A series of on-line and face-to-face focus groups, a demonstration of an automated vehicle prototype, supporting engagement activities, and a post-pre survey were used to collect their views on the topic. The results show that even though the teenagers acknowledged the potential advantages, they also expressed concerns in relation to the interactions with other road users, to automated driving systems' reliability, to safety, and to data privacy. In particular, these safety concerns revealed an unwillingness on the part of the teenagers to be among the first users of automated vehicles.
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