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The University of Southampton
Centre for Risk Research

Grant Secured for Project Examing the Role of Risk Perceptions and Trust in Autonomous Vehicles

Published: 26 March 2021
Autonomous Vehicles

The Head of the Digital and Data Driven Management Department (Professor Paurav Shukla) at Southampton Business School, together with colleauges from the Centre for Risk Research (Dr Mario Brito and Dr Yaniv Hanoch), Electronics & Computer Sciences (Professor Mike Wald), Marketing (Dr Tugra Akarsu), and an external organization (Thomas Webster at Connected Places Catapult) have been awarded a Trustworthy Autonomous System Hub grant. The funds will be used for a reasearch project titled “Inclusive autonomous vehicles: the role of human risks perception and trust narratives.”

The interdisciplinary team is set to examine important and emerging issues related to consumers’ acceptance and perception of autonomous vehicles. With AI for autonomous vehicles evolving from limited responsibility to fully autonomous driving, this project posits that each level of AI control handover triggers different levels of risk perceptions and concerns about trust. Grounded in the theories of social psychology and behavioural economics, this project will uncover how concerns with AI can be alleviated at each level. In so doing, the team will investigate the mechanisms that can address consumers’ concerns and increase their overall trust and well-being when relying on autonomous systems. Ultimately, the project will help in managing the evolution of inclusive human-AI interactions.

The team is very excited about the opportunity to develop state-of-the-art knowledge of perceptions and attitudes towards autonomous vehicles. This will be achievd via novel experiments that draw on behavioural economics, computing, marketing, and psychology. The team plans to use advanced methodologies including bibliometric analysis for a systematic literature review, and to conduct multifaceted and robust experiments. The grant will facilitate the creation of new knowledge in an important transitional phase of human-machine interactions and has the potential impact individuals, organizations, technology-developers, and policymakers across the world.

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