Pedestrians' attitudes towards automated vehicles: A qualitative study based on interviews in Germany
For the successful implementation and acceptance in road traffic, pedestrians' attitudes towards safety, interaction and compatibility of AVs are important factors. The aim of this study is to investigate general attitudes towards AVs and to generate knowledge about aspects of safety and compatibility of AVs as well as interaction with AVs from the viewpoint of pedestrians. Semi-structured interviews with 24 participants were conducted in Germany between May and July 2020. Interviews were recorded, transcribed and analysed using Qualitative Content Analysis. The classification of participants regarding their general attitude towards AVs resulted in four categories, ranging from enthusiastic to rejecting attitudes. Our results revealed that safety attitudes are a major factor underlying pedestrians' general attitudes towards AVs. Confidence to cross the road in front of AVs was influenced by the ability of AVs to successfully interact and communicate with pedestrians. We conclude that pedestrians' attitudes towards AVs may change with increasing interaction experience.