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Daytona Beach


School of Graduate Studies

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As driverless vehicles proliferate, it is possible that this technology will be applied in mass transport vehicles. School buses may be suited for autonomous operations as they follow set routes and schedules. However, a research gap exists in whether or not parents would be willing to have their children ride in autonomously operated school buses. The purpose of this study was to examine parents’ willingness to allow their child to ride in an autonomous school bus. Participant gender and nationality were also two independent variables, along with affect measures as a possible mediating variable. The research used a two-study approach. In study one, it was found that participants were less willing to have their child ride in a driverless school bus than a traditional human-operated vehicle. In study two, findings suggest a significant interaction between the type of driver, participant gender, and nationality. In general, American females were less willing than Indian females and overall, Americans were less willing than Indians in the driverless conditions. Affect was found to be a mediating variable, which suggests that emotions were playing a role in the responses of participants. The paper concludes with theoretical contributions, practical applications, and suggestions for future research.

Publication Title

Social Sciences