Driverless Futures: Current Non-drivers’ Willingness to Travel in Driverless Vehicles

Kottasz, Rita; Bennett, Roger; Vijaygopal, Rohini and Gardasz, Bettina (2021). Driverless Futures: Current Non-drivers’ Willingness to Travel in Driverless Vehicles. Journal of Marketing Management, 37(15-16) pp. 1656–1689.



This study examines the willingness of a sample of 526 current UK non-drivers to travel in driverless vehicles (DVs). Road traffic is predicted to increase between 10%-40% consequent to current non-drivers taking to the road; the new market including individuals who are unable or unwilling to drive: the aged, people with physical and/or mental impairments, and those who possess phobias about driving. Behavioural Reasoning Theory is employed to explore explicit and implicit attitudes of non-drivers towards DVs. Implicit attitudes towards this ‘really new’ product are measured via an Affect Misattribution Procedure (AMP). Sample members completed an online questionnaire containing the AMP plus items on reasons for and against DVs, beliefs and values concerning new technologies, and covariates suggested by literature in the transport marketing field. Findings from the study suggest that different types of message will be required to promote DVs to various groups of non-drivers, e.g., those exhibiting high cognitive lock-in, low locus of control, or little desire for independence. Contrary to results reported in previous literature, participants reacted favourably to positive imagery of DVs but not vice versa. Implicit attitudes strongly influenced the participants’ opinions of DVs.

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