Conference Proceeding

Consumer Comfort with Vehicle Automation: Changes Over Time

  • Chaiwoo Lee (Massachusetts Institute of Technology AgeLab)
  • Bobbie Seppelt (Massachusetts Institute of Technology AgeLab)
  • Hillary Abraham (Massachusetts Institute of Technology AgeLab)
  • Bryan Reimer (Massachusetts Institute of Technology AgeLab)
  • Bruce Mehler (Massachusetts Institute of Technology AgeLab)
  • Joseph F Coughlin (Massachusetts Institute of Technology AgeLab)


Higher levels of vehicle automation are forecast as a potential mobility solution for many, but understanding consumer comfort and acceptance of selfdriving technologies remains an open question. Results from a series of surveys over three years showed a slight increase in the percentage of people comfortable with full self-driving automation in 2018, following a drop from 2016 to 2017. The recovery in comfort with higher levels of automation was most pronounced among younger adults between ages 25 and 44. However, the percentage of people only comfortable with no automation or features that activate only in certain situations such as in an emergency also increased in the past year, indicating a polarizing trend. Results from the survey also showed that acceptance of self-driving vehicles is conditional on people’s ability to drive as well as having assurance regarding the safety of the technology. Responses also point to a possible misunderstanding among the public regarding the definition and availability of full self-driving technology, indicating a need for improved messaging and consumer education.

How to Cite:

Lee, C. & Seppelt, B. & Abraham, H. & Reimer, B. & Mehler, B. & Coughlin, J., (2019) “Consumer Comfort with Vehicle Automation: Changes Over Time”, Driving Assessment Conference 10(2019), 412-418. doi:

Rights: Copyright © 2019 the author(s)

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Published on
27 Jun 2019
Peer Reviewed