The study presented by the Institute for Motor Vehicles (ika) of RWTH Aachen University provides new results on the population's view on autonomous vehicles and was carried out in cooperation with German daily newspapers. In the »UNICARagil« project, funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), a construction kit consisting of hardware and software modules for autonomous vehicles is being developed on the basis of four vehicle concepts. In the course of the study, the participants were asked about the expectations of and wishes for the four vehicle concepts. The aim of the study is to obtain data on mobility behavior right from the start of vehicle development. The four vehicle concepts are:
- AUTOelfe: the private »butler« for all everyday journeys to school, sports, and the supermarket
- AUTOtaxi: a taxi that can be ordered via smartphone
- AUTOshuttle: complements public transport and transports six to eight people; moves and behaves like a rail vehicle
- AUTOliefer: a driverless delivery vehicle for the automated delivery of parcels
85 percent of the respondents were generally open to driverless vehicles. 73 percent expect less congestion, over 67 percent hope for more safety, and 56 percent also expect more comfort from the new generation of vehicles.
Expectations Vary by Application
At AUTOelfe, respondents would like four to five seats and enough space for transporting large objects such as a bicycle. More than 83 percent would also be willing to coordinate the family's mobility needs by means of an app. For a lower fare, 81 percent of the participants could imagine taking a detour with AUTOtaxi to take more passengers with them. Many respondents would accept to stand in an AUTOshuttle, but most passengers would avoid seats in the opposite direction. At the same time, the study participants expect precise information on the timetable, location, and occupancy – ideally by app. Since online shopping is becoming more and more important in our lives, the service of car delivery would be in great demand. More than half of the study participants are interested in late or night deliveries by the AUTOliefer vehicle as long as they do not have to accept the parcels personally. Not surprisingly, most are interested in automated collection of return parcels. Project manager Timo Woopen stresses that the results of the study will be taken into account in the design of the four vehicles. The full results can be downloaded from www.unicaragil.de.