Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Civil Engineering

First Advisor

Dr. Fatemeh Nazari

Second Advisor

Dr. Mohamadhossein Noruzoliaee

Third Advisor

Dr. Mohamed Abdel Raheem


Transportation systems will be likely transformed by the emergence of autonomous vehicles (AVs), either owned privately or used in a shared system (SAVs), which promise for safe, convenient, and efficient mobility, to name a few benefits to the society. The manifestation of (S)AV benefits, however, is still dubious due to the observed public reluctance, or at best neutrality, towards (S)AVs, especially SAVs. The public's perception towards these innovations is still unclear, therefore, a gap remains in the analysis of individuals’ behavioral intention (BI) to use AVs and SAVs. To fill that gap, this study uses a behavioral psychology method. Specifically, an updated technology acceptance model (TAM) is proposed which includes the ad-hoc latent constructs (i.e., perceived usefulness, BI to use AVs, and BI to use SAVs) as well as new latent constructs explaining perceived concern about (S)AV safety, pro-drive attitude, green travel pattern, and shared-mobility experience. The proposed TAM is empirically estimated on dataset of the California Vehicle Survey collected by California Energy Commission in 2019. The study findings reveal the positive tendency of individuals who experience shared mobility services (e.g., Uber and Lyft) towards both AVs and SAVs. Also, those experiencing green travel (i.e., active travel modes) prefer SAVs over AVs. In addition, pro-drive persons enjoy driving themselves instead of being in control and have negative intentions towards both AVs and SAVs, especially SAVs. To capture heterogeneity of the individuals, the findings are further analyzed by connecting individuals’ tendencies to each latent construct to their socio-economic attributes. The insights provided by the present research study can be used in future policy decisions as well as studies on technological advances in automated vehicle design and development.


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