Public opinion about automated vehicles in Australia: results from a large-scale national survey

Mitchell L. Cunningham, Michael A. Regan, Timothy Horberry, Kamal Weeratunga, Vinayak Dixit

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


Public acceptability, and ultimately acceptance, of automated vehicles (AVs) is critical in order to ensure that drivers utilise them and thus realise their predicted safety and other benefits. The aim of this study was to gauge public acceptability and opinions of AVs within an Australian context, for which there is currently a scarcity of empirical research. The study employed a national sample of 5089 respondents who responded to a large online survey (including 45 items specifically targeting aspects of AV acceptability). Survey items gauged demographic and other sample characteristics, and probed responses to questions on key issues including (a) the perceived benefits of AVs, (b) sources, and degree, of concerns regarding AV-related issues, and (c) willingness to pay for AV technology. Overall, it was found that, even though Australian respondents tended to agree with many of the potential benefits of AVs probed in the survey, they have considerable concerns regarding many AV-related issues. Furthermore, a majority of Australians are currently not willing to pay any more for a fully autonomous vehicle than for a manually operated vehicle. Results also showed that a number of sample demographic and characteristic variables (e.g., gender, self-classification as an early vs. late adopter of technology) have unique associations with aspects of AV acceptability. Important theoretical and practical implications of these findings are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-18
Number of pages18
JournalTransportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2019


  • Acceptability
  • Acceptance
  • Automated vehicles
  • Autonomous vehicles
  • Public opinion
  • Self-driving vehicles

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