The Impact of Self-Serving Bias on the Adoption of Autonomous Vehicles: The Moderating Role of Defensive Driving Ability and Car Accident Experience
45 Pages Posted: 27 Jul 2020
Date Written: July 21, 2020
There are optimistic expectations that the adoption of autonomous vehicles could reduce the risk of accidents caused by human drivers. However, the mere attempt to introduce autonomous vehicles on a limited basis cannot forestall the errors and threats of accidents caused by human-driven cars completely. Namely, although my purchase of an autonomous vehicle can reduce the risk of accidents due to my error, it cannot prevent exposure to the threats of accidents caused by other human drivers. This study thus examines the psychological dynamics underlying the decision process concerning the adoption of autonomous vehicles by employing the concept of self-serving bias and exploring its function in drivers’ perception. A survey of 531 driver’s license holders in South Korea showed that as self-serving bias increases, drivers underestimate the degree of risk reduction arising from the adoption of autonomous vehicles as their own private cars and subsequently show a negative attitude toward such adoption. Moreover, this impact of self-serving bias on perceived risk was more pronounced when (1) the defensive driving ability of autonomous vehicles is expected to be low; and (2) the driver has experienced car accidents more frequently. Overall, these results should provide important implications for practitioners who attempt to pave the way for a smoother adoption of autonomous vehicles at their early stage, i.e., when the number of autonomous vehicles is still lower than that of human-driven cars.
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