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The advent of autonomous vehicles (AVs) has gained increasing attention in China. Although auto manufacturers and innovators have attempted to confirm that AVs are safe and have introduced them on public roads, it is vital to understand end-users' acceptance of AVs. A total of 1453 participants voluntarily and validly completed a series of questionnaires. The questionnaires included the Autonomous Vehicle Acceptability Scale (AVAS), the Traffic Climate Scale (TCS), and sociodemographic variables. The satisfactory internal consistency reliability and construct validity revealed that the newly developed Chinese version of the AVAS is a suitable tool to measure public acceptance of AVs. Moreover, exploratory factor analysis and confirmatory factor analysis conformed to the four factors of AVAS, including benefits in usefulness (BIU), benefits in situations (BIS), concern scenarios (CS) and system concern (SC). Scores higher on benefits and lower on concerns represent more acceptance of AVs. In addition, we found that the public's perceived local traffic safety climate affected the attitude toward AVs. More specifically, external affective demands (EAD) were found to be a significant predictor of SC, internal requirements (IR) were shown to have an effect on BIS and CS, and functionality was found to be a significant predictor of BIU and SC. Furthermore, the differences between drivers and non-drivers revealed that drivers were concerned significantly less about AVs and regarded AVs as more useful than non-drivers did. To gain more customers for the purchase of AVs, it is necessary for automotive vehicle manufacturers and retailers to introduce and advertise the functions and usability of autonomous driving systems to the public. Gaining acceptance from end users and understanding the factors that affect acceptability will be critical to the widespread deployment of AVs.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: Accident; analysis and prevention
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