Consumers' Level of Trust in Using an Automated Train, Aircraft, or Vehicle as a Transportation Means
Patin, Vivalda Alexandra
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Automation is a growing technology within most industries. It is expected that automated systems may replace human functions in the near future. The purpose of this study was to determine whether factors such as: type of passenger, type of transportation, and type of operating system have an effect on consumers’ level of trust when it comes to automation in terms of transportation. In order to accomplish this task, an experimental study was conducted with 735 participants who were recruited via Amazon’s ® Mechanical Turk ®. The study provided participants with a questionnaire where they were presented with different scenarios such as either they themselves, their offspring, or their neighbor would board a human or automated train, aircraft, and a ground vehicle. After each given scenario, participants were asked to rate their level of trust, which was measured in a 7-point Likert Type scale with values ranging from -extremely distrust to extremely trust with a neutral option. After this, participants were asked to describe why they did or did not trust the presented scenario. This helped examine their level of trust, and the increase and decrease of trust levels within each one of the eighteen conditions. Findings of this study showed that participants’ level of trust was affected by factors such as type of passenger, type of transportation, and type of operating system. Results of the analysis showed that there was not a statistically significant interaction between type of passenger, type of transportation, and type of operating system, yet a statistically significant interaction was found between type of passenger and type of operating system, and type of transportation and type of operating system. In other words, participants level of trust varied depending on whether the scenario involved trains and human operated systems, or trains and automated systems, and whether participants were on-board themselves, or their offspring, or their neighbor under controlled systems or automated systems. Results indicated that participants trusted more scenarios involving trains and human operated systems, while trusting the least scenarios related to trains and automated systems (no human interaction). Overall, it was found that participants were more trusting of the controlled systems, and least trusting of the automated systems in general.