Parents’ willingness to allow their unaccompanied children to use emerging and future travel modes

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Abstract

This study investigated parents’ willingness to allow their unaccompanied child(ren) to use emerging and future travel modes (e.g., rideshare vehicles and automated vehicles). An online survey was completed by 631 Australian respondents (M = 39.2 years, SD = 10.5 years, Male: 36.6%) who reported that they currently lived with one or more children (17 or below). Approximately one-third (37.9%) of the respondents reported a willingness to allow their child to use a rideshare vehicle alone and more than half of the respondents (57.2%) reported a willingness to allow their child to use an automated vehicle alone. Respondents who expressed willingness to allow their child to use a rideshare vehicle alone were more likely to express a willingness to use an automated vehicle alone (79.1%) compared to respondents who were unwilling to use a rideshare vehicle (43.9%), χ2 (1) = 75.158, p < 0.001, Phi = 0.345. Two separate logistic regression models revealed key similarities and differences related to respondents’ willingness to allow their unaccompanied child to use both transport modes. Respondents’ willingness to allow their unaccompanied child to use a rideshare vehicle was significantly related to their previous use of a rideshare vehicle with their child, having an optimistic view of technology, annual mileage, their aberrant driving behaviours, and their desire for route-control and assurance features within the rideshare vehicle, χ2(7) = 159.594, p < 0.001. Respondents’ willingness to allow their child to use an automated vehicle alone was significantly related to awareness of automated vehicles, education level, positive views towards technology, seeing technology to be innovative, and requirements for route control features within the automated vehicle, χ2 (6) = 113.325, p < 0.001. Despite the potential for emerging or future travel modes to provide additional personal transportation options, these results suggest that Australian parents are unwilling to allow their unaccompanied child to use these modes of transport. These findings will have significant implications for transport planning, particularly in growing communities where pressures on parents to transport their child(ren) to activities and events with minimal adult supervision is increasing.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1585
Number of pages23
JournalSustainability
Volume14
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2022

Keywords

  • Automated vehicles
  • Child occupants
  • Rideshare services
  • Road safety

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