User acceptance of automated public transport: Valence of an autonomous minibus experience

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

place - europe, planning - surveys, planning - safety/accidents, planning - environmental impact, ridership - perceptions


Automated public transport, Autonomous minibus, User acceptance, Dominance analysis


Autonomous driving is receiving increasing attention in the automotive industry as well as in public transport. However, it is still unclear whether users are willing to use automated public transportation at all. In order to answer this and other questions, the transport company of the city of Mainz, Germany, tested the autonomous minibus EMMA (Elektro-Mobilität Mainz Autonom) on a 600-meter-long test track in public space. The study presented here was conducted with the aim of exploring crucial determinants for the use of an autonomous minibus. On the basis of established acceptance models, a questionnaire was developed, which was completed in a field survey by a total of 942 participants before or after their journey with the minibus. Autonomous vehicles in public transport in general and the minibus in particular were evaluated positively by the majority of respondents. Above all, participants judged safety and environmental friendliness of the minibus as important. Participants who completed the questionnaire after their first trip with EMMA provided higher ratings of acceptance than those who had not travelled on the bus. Performance expectancy was the most important predictor for both acceptance of automated public transport in general and acceptance of the minibus EMMA. However, the experienced valence of the ride, in terms of how pleasant or unpleasant passengers experienced the first trip with the minibus, also affected acceptance of the minibus. This suggests a role of valence on intention-to-use, which has hardly been considered in previous theories and studies.


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


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