Surveying consumers’ intention to use ride-sharing services and shared autonomous vehicles

Dramatically increasing prices of oil and gas challenge the ongoing shift towards shared economies more than ever. The pressure is especially tangible for individual transportation.

Between all the new ways of mobility two means of transportation seem to be promising to change from individual transportation to “individual mass transportation”: ride-pooling services and shared autonomous vehicles.

In a study, we examined the drivers of both means of transport. The research was conducted with a consumer survey focusing on a young target market. Young people are characterised by high awareness of ecological behaviour and the benefits of shared services. Thereby, it could be identified that the use of these services highly correlates with the attitude towards them, the subjective norm – as to what degree friends, family or the society use the services – as well as the perceived risk one has by getting into the shared riding services. Moreover, the performance (time & CO2 savings), the hedonic motivation referred to as fun and satisfaction, and the price value greatly impacts the use intention.

When it comes to a difference between the two services SAVs usage depends a lot more on the perceived social norm than is the case for ride-pooling services. Moreover, advantages are seen in the performance and pleasure of the use of SAVs. Whereas, the price-performance ratio is perceived to be better for ride-pooling services.

The analysis allows several conclusions to be drawn for the branding of ride-hailing companies. While SAVs could position themselves as the better alternative compared to ride-pooling services and market the new way of transport as the new social norm, ride-pooling services could position themselves as eco-friendly by using electric vehicles and thus, catch up with SAVs on the performance dimension.

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