Without public support, the deployment of Automated Vehicles (AVs) is doomed to failure. Therefore, their acceptability has been widely studied. On the basis of a systematic literature review of 113 empirical studies, the present paper studies the influence of the modes of contact with the AV (no explanation provided, written or pictorial description only, simulator, real experience) on sociodemographic variables, acceptability, behavioural intention and their determinants. The analysis of the dependent variables shows a lack of clarification of what is actually measured and a heterogeneity of measurements that makes comparisons difficult. The determinants were separated in two groups: preferences, which refer to projections in use, and perceptions, which refer to beliefs. The determinants in the preferences group, and some determinants in the perceptions group (perceived ease of use and usefulness and attitudes), are not influenced by the mode of contact with the AV. Indeed, a more concrete mode of contact does not change the participants’ responses for these variables. For the other determinants of the perceptions group, the mode of contact with AVs impacts participants’ responses. Trust and perceived safety are influenced by the mode of contact. More significantly, we observed that the relationship between acceptability and the level of knowledge or control was moderated by the mode of contact with AVs. These results lead us to encourage research favouring direct experience with the AV to study its acceptability. A discussion of these recurring results but also the significant methodological and theoretical shortcomings highlighted by the review is presented such as the research gaps in terms of sampling or statistical robustness. In conclusion, a few methodological approaches are proposed for the study of technological devices that are little or not known to future users, as well as a reflection on the usefulness of studying the acceptability of these little-known devices.
- automated/autonomous vehicles
- intention to use
- mode of contact
- full automation