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Sharing or Owning Autonomous Vehicles? Comprehending the Role of Ideology in the Adoption of Autonomous Vehicles in the Society of Automobility

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Emerging mobility technologies, including connected shared platforms and automation, are disrupting urban transportation.

There is an expectation that Shared Autonomous Vehicles (SAVs) will eventually replace ubiquitous private car ownership by offering efficient, flexible, and affordable on-demand mobility. However, the meaning of the car and its functions are not limited to facilitating mobility; instead, the car has other functions such as demonstrating the socio-economic status of its owner and symbolising their identity.

These kinds of ideological and symbolic functions of car ownership are often neglected when discussing the future role of AVs. This research analyses a mixed data set including 3 focus group interviews and 192 residents’ responses to a questionnaire-based survey in Auckland.

The results indicate that there was a considerable range of preferences in whether participants wanted AVs, but a smaller difference in their attitude to sharing mobility services. The research indicates that alternative smart shared mobility options would not subsequently reduce pervasive car ownership. It is likely that private car owners will be more likely to use their own AV usage instead of sharing vehicles.

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