Public Opinion Regarding Autonomous Vehicle Privacy and Security

Open Access
Berman, Danielle Hope
Graduate Program:
Civil Engineering
Master of Science
Document Type:
Master Thesis
Date of Defense:
March 28, 2018
Committee Members:
  • Martin T Pietrucha, Thesis Advisor
  • Eric Todd Donnell, Committee Member
  • Alan Richard Wagner, Committee Member
  • autonomous vehicles
  • public opinion
  • survey
  • privacy
  • cybersecurity
The purpose of this thesis was to investigate privacy concerns related to autonomous vehicles with a focus on people’s level of comfort with autonomous vehicles collectingdifferent types of information and sharing that information with different entities.A survey of 154 United States residents was conducted through Amazon's Mechanical Turk crowdsourcing survey tool to probe opinion regarding these issues and model trends within the sample. The findings of this study indicate that there is concern over information privacy in autonomous vehicles and that people would be hesitant about purchasing a vehicle that used their personal information in certain ways. Study participants showed the most comfort sharing non-personally identifying information and sharing locational information,but the least comfort with sharing personally identifying information. People were the least willing to share information with marketers and most willing to share information in emergency situations. Respondents also indicated that they would like control over their data in terms of being able to remotely erase sensitive information and they are concerned about security of their information. To attempt to alleviate concerns and address privacy issues, a series of recommendations for education efforts and data collection techniques were proposed for automakers and policymakers.