As part of the evaluation activities in AUTOPILOT, an analysis of user requirements, concerns and expectations has been conducted by multiple project partners. Since connected driving and IoT in general are recent notions and technologies, one should highlight the importance of such user acceptance evaluations in order to detect the needs, desires and expectations of users and to eventually ensure user’s acceptance and trust in such services. The evaluated recreates carsharing as a touristic experience in Versailles, where tourists have the opportunity to book and use an autonomous vehicle to get through Versailles Gardens.
Methods of the evaluation
Figure 1: User Acceptance Evaluation Concept
The evaluation of the user acceptance in AUTOPILOT is based on an iterative process as shown in figure 1. The first online survey presented in the deliverable is part of this process and plays an important role in the development of the services by providing a first feedback on requirements and concerns which are related to the use of the developed services from the perspective of potential users. The second user survey (as shown on the arrow between “assess experience” and “design feedback”) will be part of the trial runs at the pilot sites, addressing the requirements and concerns of potential users after gaining their first experience with the service by participating at pilot site demonstrations.
Most studies on user acceptance conducted in the context of autonomous driving or other innovations use theoretical models, such as the Technology Acceptance Model (TAM) developed by
Davis (1985). The authors of the present study, however, decided not to use standardised instruments to measure user acceptance, as the user acceptance evaluation in the project “AUTOPILOT” is based on an approach which considers potential users of the developed services as co-designers rather than study subjects. This approach allows for more practical insights on preferences and acceptance of users than addressing general preferences and factors affecting acceptance.
Research Questions and Hypotheses
As the study focuses on the consequences of IoT enabled functions for the users and how users perceive the added value of additional information provided through an IoT enabled service, the main research question was how IoT might enable, accelerate and/or enhance automated driving and the usage of services around automated driving.
The main hypothesis that the deliverable tries to prove is that an IoT connection will accelerate the uptake of the demonstrated services and might enhance the user experience by providing additional information and features. It is therefore crucial to analyse, on the one hand, which types of information are required by the user when deciding to use the service or during operation and on the other hand which concerns they might have when booking or using the service.
Indicators and Metrics
As stated above, the purpose of the survey is to find out expectations, requirements and concerns of potential users. To do so, a Likert scale from 1 = “not concerned at all”/”Very relevant” to 7 = “very concerned”/”irrelevant” was used.
Concerning the different scenarios of using automated driving enhanced by IoT, the storyboards have been simplified to make the technical details of the service easier to understand for the respondents.
Figure 2: Structure of the questionnaire
The survey was conducted in the following eight European countries: UK, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Netherlands, Greece, and Finland. The authors of the study selected these countries in order to cover the countries where the majority of the project partners come from.
For the first two scenarios, the sample size was n=200 respondents per country (total n=1600 each) and n=100 (n=800 in total) for the third scenario. The questionnaire was implemented in an online form and a professional service provider was used for the recruitment of samples.
The results of the survey not only give a broad overview of what potential users require as information before and during the use of an IoT enhanced automated vehicle, but also what potential concerns they might have before and during the use of such a service.
The study shows that information most rated “very relevant” for potential users was information about the availability of a vehicle (53 % of respondents), followed by instructions on using the service (49%).
Concerning information required during the operation, real-time tourist information seems to be the most relevant for the respondents, followed by information related to the automated driving function and contact information for the customer service.
Furthermore, respondents were asked to express any concerns that they might have before using the services as well as during the operation. Concerns before using the services, among others, were about the payment process, cyber security and data privacy.
During the use of the services, the respondents’ biggest concerns were malfunction or loss of data affecting information followed by making cyclist and pedestrians feel uncomfortable and vehicle malfunction.
“Automated driving Progressed by Internet Of Things” (AUTOPILOT) brings IoT into the automotive world to transform connected vehicles — moving ”things” in the IoT ecosystem — into highly and fully automated vehicles.
To learn more, visit the AUTOPILOT website here!