Innovation adoption in robotics : consumer intentions to use autonomous vehicles
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- Master Thesis 
Fully autonomous vehicles (AVs) are due to be launched in the market within the next few years. These cars are designed to be capable of operating without a driver, apart from destination and navigation input, and are expected to have major positive impacts on the environment, traffic safety, mobility and productivity. Moreover, AVs may cause the car industry to switch from being a product consumers own to an on-demand service, and could lead to the entrance of new industry players. However, little research exists on the mechanisms that lead consumers to intend to use AVs. The present study aims to expand the knowledge by developing a theoretical model to explain consumer intentions to adopt AVs. The model draws from established frameworks in the innovation adoption literature – the Theory of Planned Behavior, the Technology Acceptance Model, and the Diffusion of Innovations Model – and adds relevant extensions based on findings in research in motives for car use, research on consumer adoption of alternative fuel vehicles and research on consumer perception of product autonomy. This conceptual model is tested through a cross-sectional survey (N=320). The results reveal that consumers mainly form their intentions based on attitude toward using AVs, as well as the perceived compatibility, usefulness and enjoyment of using AVs. In addition, perceived risk, self-identity, ease of use and personal norms play a role in shaping intentions. Overall, these constructs explain a high degree (79%) of the variance in intentions to use AVs. The thesis concludes with theoretical and managerial implications, along with suggestions for future research.