Is tomorrow’s car appealing today? Ethical issues and user attitudes beyond automation

AI and Society:1-14 (forthcoming)

Sven Nyholm
Eindhoven University of Technology
The literature on ethics and user attitudes towards AVs discusses user concerns in relation to automation; however, we show that there are additional relevant issues at stake. To assess adolescents’ attitudes regarding the ‘car of the future’ as presented by car manufacturers, we conducted two studies with over 400 participants altogether. We used a mixed methods approach in which we combined qualitative and quantitative methods. In the first study, our respondents appeared to be more concerned about other aspects of AVs than automation. Instead, their most commonly raised concerns were the extensive use of AI, recommender systems, and related issues of autonomy, invasiveness and personal privacy. The second study confirmed that several AV impacts were negatively perceived. The responses were, however, ambivalent. This confirms previous research on AV attitudes. On one hand, the AV features were perceived as useful, while on the other hand, their impacts were negatively assessed. We followed theoretical insights form futures studies and responsible research and innovation, which helped to identify that there are additional user concerns than what has been previously discussed in the literature on public attitudes and ethics of AVs, as well what has been envisioned by car manufactures.
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DOI 10.1007/s00146-020-00941-z
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