Award Date

8-1-2019

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Engineering (MSE)

Department

Civil and Environmental Engineering and Construction

First Committee Member

Alexander Paz-Cruz

Second Committee Member

Courtney Coughenour

Third Committee Member

Pramen Shrestha

Fourth Committee Member

Moses Karakouzian

Fifth Committee Member

Timothy Bungum

Number of Pages

95

Abstract

Autonomous and connected vehicles (ACVs) are quickly evolving and becoming part of our transportation systems. Adoption of this technology is largely dependent on public perceptions and comfort. The objective of this study was to evaluate public perceptions of ACVs and gain knowledge regarding potential use and important aspects towards acceptance of ACVs. Specifically, the differences in perceptions of people who have ridden an ACV are compared to those who have not. A stated preference approach was utilized, as this is an emerging technology. Two different survey questionnaires were distributed. The first survey was distributed to participants considered to be members of the general public. The second survey was distributed to participants who had ridden an autonomous and connected shuttle bus operating in downtown Las Vegas. Data were analyzed using penalized logistic regression. Results suggest that people from the general public who have had exposure to or have ridden an ACV feel more positively about them becoming more widespread. From the shuttle-rider survey, participants expressed positive sentiments with a higher portion than those from the general survey. This may suggest that a public exposure period to ACVs would benefit those interested in implementing ACVs. Younger people, middle to low income households and males also felt more positively about ACVs than their older, high income and female counterparts, respectively. However, from the shuttle-rider survey, lower income people favored ACVs more than higher income people. In addition, commuting distances and amount of vehicle travel may increase. This could potentially result in sprawling which certainly has public health and planning implications.

Keywords

automated driving technology; autonomous and connected shuttle bus; autonomous and connected vehicles; autonomous vehicles; Las Vegas; public perception

Disciplines

Transportation

Language

English


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