A Survey of Visually Impaired Consumers About Self-Driving Vehicles


This study investigated public opinion of persons who are blind or visually impaired related to user acceptance, concerns, and willingness to buy partially and fully automated vehicles; commonly referred to as self-driving vehicles. A 39-question Internet-based survey was distributed in the United States that collected 516 useable responses from persons 18 years and older who self-identified as visually impaired. Respondents generally had an optimistic view of the potential benefits of self-driving vehicles however a majority of respondents expressed concerns regarding the technology. Concerns focused on the possibility of equipment failure, vehicles getting confused by unexpected situations and vehicle interactions with pedestrians and bicycles. A majority of respondents agreed that the needs\ of individuals who are blind or visually impaired are being considered in the development of self-driving vehicle technology though higher education levels were associated with a decrease in a respondent’s belief in this contention.