A structural equation modeling approach for the acceptance of driverless automated shuttles based on constructs from the Unified Theory of Acceptance and Use of Technology and the Diffusion of Innovation Theory

Sina Nordhoff, Victor Malmsten, Bart van Arem, Peng Liu, Riender Happee

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Abstract

The present study investigated the attitudes and acceptance of automated shuttles in public transport among 340 individuals physically experiencing the automated shuttle ‘Emily’ from Easymile in a mixed traffic environment on the semi-public EUREF (Europäisches Energieforum) campus in Berlin. Automated vehicle acceptance was modelled as a function of the Unified Theory of Acceptance and Use of Technology (UTAUT) constructs performance expectancy, effort expectancy, social influence, and facilitating conditions, the Diffusion of Innovation Theory (DIT) constructs compatibility and trialability, as well as trust and automated shuttle sharing. The results show that after adding the DIT constructs, automated shuttle sharing, and trust to the model, the effect of performance expectancy on behavioural intention was no longer significant. Instead, compatibility with current travel was the strongest predictor of behavioural intention to use automated shuttles. It was further found that individuals who are willing to share rides in an automated shuttle with fellow travelers (i.e., automated shuttle sharing) and who trust automated shuttles (i.e., trust) are more likely to intend to use automated shuttles (i.e., behavioural intention). The highest mean rating was obtained for believing that automated shuttles are easy to use, while the lowest mean rating was obtained for feeling safe inside the automated shuttle without any type of supervision. The analysis revealed a preference for the supervision of the automated shuttle via an external control room to the supervision by a human steward onboard. We recommend future research to investigate the hypothesis that compatibility could serve as an even stronger predictor of the behavioural intention to use automated shuttles in public transport than performance expectancy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)58-73
Number of pages16
JournalTransportation Research Part F: Traffic Psychology and Behaviour
Volume78
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Keywords

  • Automated shuttle sharing
  • Automated shuttles
  • Automated vehicle acceptance
  • DIT
  • UTAUT

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