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EMAC 2022 Annual

Do we want robocars? Understanding consumer acceptance of autonomous vehicles

Published: May 24, 2022


Nicole Bulawa, ESCP Business School; Frank Jacob, ESCP Europe; Charlotte Müller, Capgemini Invent


The potential of autonomous vehicles (AVs) in traffic safety, personal mobility, and driving efficiency has led to major investments in AV development among automobile manufacturers worldwide. Technology investments promise exceptional market success provided market adoption unfolds. However, this is not always the case ? for example, several surveys show reluctance towards AV adoption. While some empirical evidence exists with regards to technology acceptance of AV, these models commonly inherit a pro-change bias assuming that innovations are eagerly adopted. In contrast, motivational research in the context of AV adoption is rather unexplored and it suggests that innovations go in line with change and, therefore, customer resistance. This research project, therefore, applies Talke and Heidenreich’s motivational innovation adoption theory (2014) to the specific application context of AVs to identify not only drivers of adoption but also barriers to AV adoption. To this end, 12 semi-structured interviews were collected supported by a content analysis of over 40 secondary sources. This enabled us to identify seven overarching drivers and barriers to AV adoption.