The WISE ACT (Wider Impacts and Scenario Validation for Autonomous Connected Transport), an initiative that draws together more than 150 experts from 41 countries, is conducting an international survey in order to better understand public acceptance of automated vehicles.
While there has been a great deal of focus on automotive technology and connected infrastructure, less is known about how the public will react to the roll out of CAVs (connected and autonomous vehicles) and how much travellers might be willing to pay for such services.
“We’ve already launched our survey in 15 countries and we’re going to launch another 10 in the next few weeks”, says WISE ACT chair Dr Nikolas Thomopoulos (photo), who is also a senior lecturer in transport at University of Surrey in the UK. “We’re essentially trying to find out what potential users think of CAVs. Because, so far, most of the conversations have been led by private entities, which are essentially putting in all of the money, and by governments, who try to give some guidance, some regulations, or some flexibility for those companies to develop this. So, in this environment one element is missing – the user perspective.
“If the companies give us these vehicles, and if the government allows us to travel, but no one is using it, where’s the benefit? And if we consider the amount of money and funding and effort that’s going into this, we think it is wise that there has to be some kind of balance. How much are people willing to pay for an automated vehicle trip?”.