Navigational Preference and Driver Acceptance of Advanced Traveler Information Systems
Kathryn Wochinger Science Applications International Corporation, McLean, VA
Deborah Boehm-Davis George Mason University, Fairfax, VA
The successful implementation of Advanced Traveler Information Systems (ATIS), a component of Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS), depends on user acceptance of ATIS products and services. The focus of much ITS and ATIS research to date, however, has been on technical issues rather than on user acceptance. To fill the void in knowledge regarding user acceptance, the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) is currently conducting a research program to provide broad-based, publicly available information on potential consumer reaction to ITS ( Zimmerman & Elliot, 1995). Such information could then be applied to the design of ITS products and services, as well as to the development of an ITS implementation strategy.
Information on consumer reaction to previously introduced technological innovations may shed light on potential user acceptance of ITS. For example, several years after automated teller machines (ATMs) were introduced in Seattle, less than half of all bank account holders generated ATM transactions, and customers over 50 years of age rarely used ATMs ( Kantowitz et al., 1993). The implication of this finding is that many drivers, particularly older drivers, may resist using technically innovative products (such as ATIS).
User acceptance is particularly important to the successful implementation of ATIS because the accuracy of traffic information it conveys is dependent on the number of ATIS-equipped vehicles. As predicted by Muir's model of user trust in automated systems ( Muir, 1987, 1994), the