Will Automated Trucks Trigger the Blame Game and Socially Amplify Risks?

21 Pages Posted: 30 Aug 2018

See all articles by Sean Dougherty

Sean Dougherty

Georgia State University

John Stowell

Georgia State University

Aleta Richards

Georgia State University

Pamela Ellen

Georgia State University

Date Written: August 30, 2018

Abstract

This study explores how US car drivers respond to a hypothetical but plausible news story about an incident involving an automated truck. We also evaluate the degree to which drivers intend to communicate risk perception through word of mouth and social media. Although industry expects automated trucks to increase safety, lower energy consumption, and alleviate transportation bottlenecks, prior studies of public perception of automated trucks have identified concerns about safety and job losses. We employed a between-subjects experiment to evaluate both the perception of risk and blame and the intent to communicate concerns by word of mouth and social media. Participants were exposed to a hypothetical news story regarding an automated truck accident without including cues on fault. The appearance of the truck was varied between experiment conditions, testing both human-driven and automated trucks. While we successfully manipulated perceptions of the design of the truck using several areas of literature, we did not find distinct risk and communication responses between different designs of the truck. We did find substantial differences in risk perception, blame, and intent to communicate risk between a human-driven and automated truck in an otherwise identical scenario.

Keywords: Automated Trucks, Autonomous Freight, Public Perception, Autonomous Vehicles, Risk Perception, Blame, Risk Signal, Social Amplification of Risk, Employment Concern, Dispositional Trust

Suggested Citation

Dougherty, Sean and Stowell, John and Richards, Aleta and Ellen, Pamela, Will Automated Trucks Trigger the Blame Game and Socially Amplify Risks? (August 30, 2018). 2018 Engaged Management Scholarship Conference: Philadelphia, PA, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3241569 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3241569

Sean Dougherty (Contact Author)

Georgia State University ( email )

35 Broad Street
Atlanta, GA 30303-3083
United States

John Stowell

Georgia State University ( email )

35 Broad Street
Atlanta, GA 30303-3083
United States

Aleta Richards

Georgia State University ( email )

35 Broad Street
Atlanta, GA 30303-3083
United States

Pamela Ellen

Georgia State University ( email )

35 Broad Street
Atlanta, GA 30303-3083
United States

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