A future without drivers?
Research Project , 2019


A sustainable transport system is argued to be a fossil free system, based on the idea of shared mobility in which autonomous vehicles (AVs) could play an essential role. AVs, whether shared or not, require further technical development but dissemination will depend also on organisations’ as well as individuals’ (as decision makers, citizens, or users) acceptance of and trust in autonomous driving (AD).

In the quest for knowledge on factors influencing end users’ acceptance and trust in AV and AD, previous investigations have primarily relied on surveys/questionnaires based on different technology acceptance models, more or less adapted to the context of AV. Identified factors include aspects such perceived usefulness, ease-of-use, and reliability. However, recent research has argued the need for more holistic approach taking into account also, for example how the idea of AV and AD is communicated and through which channels; how it is interpreted and understood. Such an holistic approach require a multi-disciplinary perspective.


The aim of the project is to – by integrating the perspectives of human factors engineering and psychology – search for further knowledge and understanding of factors that influence people’s (end-users’) acceptance of and trust in autonomous vehicles.

Research approach

Two studies are to be planned and results analysed and interpreted in collaboration between researchers with a human factors engineering and a psychology perspective respectively. Each of the studies will address different research questions (i.e. re people’ understanding of AV, attitudes towards AV, the impact of media, etc.) but both will contribute to building knowledge of what factors influence people’s acceptance and trust in autonomous vehicles. The focus in all studies will be cars and NHTSA levels 3-4. Each of the studies will involve a theoretically representative sample of end-users. Well-known methods and tools will be used to collect relevant data but the studies will also include more innovative methodology. The intentions are (i) to make use of the concept of mixed methods and methodological triangulation to collect more information than is feasible using one method only; (ii) to make use of so called generative methods to elicit information that is not otherwise accessible, and (iii) for the researchers involved to become familiar and learn from the methods and tools used by the respective disciplines.


MariAnne Karlsson (contact)

Professor vid Chalmers, Industrial and Materials Science, Design and Human Factors

Lars-Ola Bligård

Forskare vid Chalmers, Industrial and Materials Science, Design and Human Factors

Helena Strömberg

Universitetslektor vid Chalmers, Industrial and Materials Science, Design and Human Factors



Funding Chalmers participation during 2019

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