Passenger's subjective traffic safety, in-vehicle security and emergency management in the driverless shuttle bus in Finland


Arto O. Salonen

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

place - europe, place - urban, mode - bus, mode - other, technology - intelligent transport systems, ridership - perceptions, planning - safety/accidents, planning - personal safety/crime


Driverless shuttle bus, Autonomous vehicle, Public transport, User experiences, In-vehicle security, Traffic safety


Mobility services are evolving globally. Driverless public transport can be a game-changer for urban mobility. However, empirical evidence from the point of user experiences is lacking. A customer's sense of safety and security has a significant influence on public transport acceptance. This case study focuses on driverless shuttle bus passengers' subjective experiences of (a) traffic safety, (b) in-vehicle security, and (c) emergency management compared to the conventional bus. Data were collected through interviews from informants that travelled by driverless shuttle busses in the City of Vantaa, Finland in summer 2015. A total of 19,021 passengers travelled by 3,962 km autonomous buses on a specific route. The sample of 197 informants was analysed by quantitative methods. Informants assessed perception of traffic safety to be better in the driverless shuttle bus than in a conventional bus with a driver. However, they were lacking personal in-vehicle security. 64 per cent of passengers answered that sense of in-vehicle security in the driverless shuttle bus was worse or much worse than in the conventional bus. There was a significant difference between women and men when they evaluated their subjective sense of security on board F(1, 195) = 8.196, p < 0.001. Men assessed their experiences of traffic safety, in-vehicle security and emergency management to be overall better than those of women. In order to mainstream the use of driverless shuttle buses, for example as a part of a transport chain, traffic safety is not a problem. Instead, a passenger's sense of security on board should be increased. This is the case especially with female passengers.


Permission to publish the abstract has been given by Elsevier, copyright remains with them.


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