Trustworthiness of unmanned automated subway services and its effects on passengers’ anxiety and fear


Hyunjin Kim

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

mode - subway/metro, place - asia, place - urban, ridership - perceptions


Unmanned automated subways, Trustworthiness, Trust, Anxiety and fear, Emotion appraisal, Public transport service


Commuters worldwide can now travel to work using unmanned subway services while tourists may travel to holiday destinations on planes that employ automatic flight control equipment. More recently, autonomous buses have made their debut in several cities. Technological advances in transport services, however, are accompanied by challenges to passengers’ perceived safety and the acceptability of the technology. While passengers’ anxiety and fear appear to reduce their acceptance of new technologies, trust has been shown to positively affect their acceptance of automation and autonomous vehicles. In this vein, the present study investigates the trustworthiness of automated subway services in Korea with regard to passenger anxiety and fear. First, automated subway-specific trustworthiness factors are identified through exploratory factor analysis. Subsequently, the effects of the identified factors on passenger anxiety and fear are examined using structural equation modeling. The results indicate that attributes that contribute to the trustworthiness of automated subways are grouped into automation- and service-related factors: ‘automation trustworthiness’ and ‘service trustworthiness’, both of which appear to negatively affect passengers’ anxiety and fear, mediated by the passengers’ sense of certainty and coping potential. The negative effects of trustworthiness on anxiety and fear indicate that strengthening of the trustworthiness factors must be accompanied with technological advances in transportation. The implications for strengthening the trustworthiness of unmanned automated subways and other transport services employing autonomous features are presented, correspondingly, in this study.


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


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