Risk Preferences and Autonomous Vehicles

TitleRisk Preferences and Autonomous Vehicles
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of PublicationSubmitted
AuthorsShenhao Wang, Jinhua Zhao
JournalTransportation Research Part A
KeywordsAutonomous Vehicles, prospect theory, risk preference, Singapore, stated preference
Abstract

While there is an increasingly large body of research on the potential demand for autonomous vehicles (AV), an understudied factor is people’s risk preference. Risk preference is important because many aspects of AVs are highly uncertain as the technology and its encompassing mobility system emerge and continue to evolve. This study analyzed how risk preferences influence the choice of AVs, and how risk preferences elicited by economic and psychometric methods differ in their impacts. We conducted a stated preference survey in Singapore with 1,303 persons and 7 choice scenarios per person. We extracted two economic risk preference parameters based on prospect theory using individualized linear regressions; and we extracted one psychometric risk preference parameter based on a set of Likert scale questions using factor analysis. After applying mixed logit models incorporating the risk preference parameters, we found that risk-seeking preference significantly increases the choice of AVs. The economic risk preference and the psychometric risk preference are statistically uncorrelated; both contribute to predicting AV usage, and the economic risk measure improves the choice model more than the psychometric one. The results show that people’s risk preference is an important factor influencing the adoption of AVs, and future studies should continue to examine the specific relationship between the multiple components of risk preferences and the multiple uncertain aspects of AVs.