Survey finds positive attitudes to AVs among younger demographic

A new study looking at the attitudes towards the use of autonomous vehicles has found people aged 18-24 are broadly positive about the concept of autonomous vehicles.

Herriot Watt University talked to ride-hailing users who live in the United Kingdom, which it believes is the most frequent users of application-based taxi services, and they are likely to be the first to gain access to autonomous taxis.

It says that overall attitudes towards AVs from this sample were positive.

Looking closer into this question and in line with the role of gender, as identified in the literature review, male respondents held more positive attitudes than females.

Researchers found a cumulative 53.3% positive male attitudes, compared with 43.5% from female participants, although female users were more likely to be “neutral” and males accounted for all “very negative responses”, suggesting that males were more polarised than females.

Perceived ease-of-use was also positive, along with value, but safety elicited a broad range of responses. The most significant result came from the question ‘I think self-driving taxis will be safer than regular taxis’, which was the most negative mean of the study, with 43% suggesting they ‘disagree’ or ‘strongly disagree’ with the statement and 33.1% unsure – only 23.8% responded positively.

The researchers say this is a very important result as reducing road fatalities is one of the major anticipated benefits of AVs and it is, therefore, significant that this sample holds opposing beliefs.

A cumulative 49.7% indicated they intend to use the service however a significant 22.6% would not – leaving 27.8% undecided.


  • Self driving taxis are perceived as more dangerous/less trustworthy than regular taxis.
  • Overall, attitudes towards AVs were positive 
  • 70% of people disagree that self driving taxis will be safer than regular taxis.
  • The majority of participants feel that there will be a risk to using self-driving taxis
  • Male respondents held more positive attitudes and were more polarized than females.
  • 53.3% positive male attitudes
  • 43.5% positive female attitudes

(Picture – Yay Images)


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