Autonomous vehicles (AVs) or automated driving systems (ADSs) are projected to be widely available in the coming years. Prior research has documented the reasoned benefits and concerns about this prospect, especially from the perspectives of mobility and safety. However, little work has focused on the prospect of using AVs to enhance children’s mobility as well as the AV features that are needed for safety. An online survey was used to collect the opinions of parents within the United States on their willingness to use AVs to transport children. Results showed that parents’ concerns, assurance-related car features, parents’ technology readiness, child restraint system use (as a proxy for child age), and parent sex were important variables for modeling parents’ willingness. These findings highlight potential users’ needs and requirements as they consider AV ridership and use scenarios in the context of children’s mobility. More research is critically needed to guide the development of AV features, safety evaluations, and regulatory policies, as child passengers are likely part of AV ridership scenarios in the perceivable future.
Part of the book: Parenting