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Study review of automated mobility pilots

Study review of automated mobility pilots

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This project presents a review of previous pilot studies carried out in real-world scenario to assess user acceptance and experience of Autonomous Vehicles (AV) mobility services. The analysis includes a systematic review of previous studies published in scientific literature and an analysis of reports of the studies conducted in Switzerland and published on the FEDRO web site. Our analysis focused on the study settings and characteristics, vehicle types, types of users that assessed the vehicles and on the measured variables in each study.

We evidenced an important gap in scientific literature for obtaining significant evidence about the user acceptance and the user experience of AV mobility services in real-world scenarios. Indeed, we found that few results of pilot trials were published in scientific literature and that that the tests published differed largely in terms of evaluation methods and study setting, making impossible a comparison of the different studies and a meta-analysis of the results obtained so far.

Looking at the general results of the studies found in the literature, autonomous vehicles received positive feedback for safety and comfort. Challenges included scalability issues and concerns about braking behaviours and limited speeds of the services. Positive user experiences, increased trust, and willingness to pay for AV services were observed, influenced by factors like ease of use, attitude, and exposure to AV technology. Contextual factors like weather and competition with existing services influenced AV usage, and public perceptions showed regional and use case variations. Overall, AVs were positively received, with high satisfaction and a willingness to use them in various scenarios.

An important finding of our review is the lack of scientific articles presenting the results of previous pilot studies compared to the large list of pilots running across the world.

Considering the results of our review, we drafted some recommendations for SAAM members. Specifically, we suggest:

  • to create a common testing framework for assessing and comparing different AV mobility services across Switzerland,
  • to properly design the pilot studies together with scientists and to publish results in scientific journals or conferences,
  • to deploy more public AV trials, as they are fundamental to help users build the needed knowledge to evaluate and then adopt such services,
  • to start trials as free of charge services for the users, until proper trust and habit is built among the population,
  • to evaluate the acceptance and the experience with people with different sociodemographic characteristics as age, gender and education factors may affect the willingness to use such services,
  • to avoid the presence of onboard staff in the vehicle during pilot studies, if the purpose would be to remove such staff from the vehicle in the future.

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