Willingness to Pay for Autonomous Vehicles before and after Crashes: A Demographic Analysis for US Residents

Kareem Othman1 , 2 , * Open Modal Authors Info & Affiliations
The Open Transportation Journal 11 May 2023 RESEARCH ARTICLE DOI: 10.2174/18744478-v17-e230419-2022-6



It is anticipated that autonomous vehicles (AVs) can achieve many benefits, such as improving traffic safety and increasing mobility of people with limited modes of transportation. However, the public attitude remains the controlling factor determining the degree to which AVs can achieve these benefits. While it is expected that the public acceptance of AVs would increase over time due to the increase in the level of awareness and knowledge about this new technology, previous surveys show that people become more pessimistic towards AVs over time. While this pattern has never been investigated, some studies link this negative shift in the attitude to AVs accidents.


This study focuses exclusively on understanding the impact of AV crashes on the willingness to pay extra to buy an AV for people from the US. In addition, the analysis focuses on evaluating changes in the willingness to pay for AVs before and after crashes for people with different demographics in order to understand how the different groups react to these accidents.


A questionnaire survey was designed and conducted between February and September of 2022 and a total of 2,144 responses were received and analyzed to understand the impact of these crashes on respondents with different demographic properties (age, gender, household income, educational level, prior knowledge about AVs, and prior knowledge about AV crashes). In addition, hypothesis testing was utilized in order to evaluate whether the changes in the willingness to pay extra for AVs after introducing the accidents are significantly different from the willingness to pay for AVs before introducing the accidents.


The results show that the willingness to pay extra to buy an AV decreased by 29% after the crashes were introduced to the respondents, while the decline in the willingness to pay extras varies across the different demographic groups investigated.


The results show the significant negative impact of AV crashes on the public attitude as the average willingness to pay extra for AVs decreased from 8,412 USD before the crashes to 6,007 USD after the crashes. In addition, the results show that the decrease in the willingness to pay for AVs is statistically significant for different demographic groups.

Keywords: Autonomous vehicles, Crashes, Demographic properties, Hypothesis testing, Prior knowledge, Transportation, Willingness to pay.
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