Understanding Passenger Acceptance of Autonomous Vehicles Through the Prism of the Trolley Dilemma

Yu Leung Ng*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Although developing successful autonomous vehicles for practical use is of interest, the establishment of moral autonomous vehicles aligned with human values is also crucial. Prior studies have mainly examined moral decision making in the trolley dilemma of autonomous vehicles, i.e., the driverless dilemma. Relatively little is known, however, about the passenger acceptance (specifically like, use, trust, and communication) of autonomous vehicles in the driverless dilemma. Results of a correlational study (Study 1) and an experimental study (Study 2) found that participants as the passengers were more likely to like, use, trust, and communicate with autonomous vehicles programmed to protect self than protect others and be random in a one-passenger-one-pedestrian scenario representing the one-to-one dilemma. However, in most conditions participants showed no preference for either pro-self, pro-social, or random algorithms in the one-passenger-several-pedestrian scenarios implying the utilitarian dilemma (Studies 1 and 2). The variation of passenger did not affect acceptance of autonomous vehicles in the driverless dilemma (Study 2).
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2185-2194
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Journal of Human-Computer Interaction
Issue number9
Early online date2 Jan 2023
Publication statusPublished - 2 May 2024

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Human Factors and Ergonomics
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Computer Science Applications


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