Connected and Autonomous Vehicles (CAVs) constitute an automotive development carrying paradigm-shifting potential that may soon be embedded into a dynamically changing urban mobility landscape. The complex machine-led dynamics of CAVs make them more prone to data exploitation and vulnerable to cyber attacks than any of their predecessors increasing the risks of privacy breaches and cyber security violations for their users. This can adversely affect the public acceptability of CAVs, give them a bad reputation at this embryonic stage of their development, create barriers to their adoption and increased use, and complicate the business models of their future operations. Therefore, it is vital to identify and create an in-depth understanding of the cyber security and privacy issues associated with CAVs, and of the way these can be prioritised and addressed. This work employs 36 semi-structured elite interviews to explore the diverse dimensions of user acceptance through the lens of the well-informed CAV experts that already anticipate problems and look for their solutions. Our international interviewee sample represents academia, industry and policy-making so that all the key stakeholder voices are heard. Thematic analysis was used to identify and contextualise the factors that reflect and affect CAV acceptance in relation to the privacy and cyber security agendas. Six core themes emerged: awareness, user and vendor education, safety, responsibility, legislation, and trust. Each of these themes has diverse and distinctive dimensions and are discussed as sub-themes. We recommend that mitigating the cyber security and privacy risks embedded in CAVs require inter-institutional cooperation, awareness campaigns and trials for trust-building purposes, mandatory educational training for manufacturers and perhaps more importantly for end-users, balanced and fair responsibility-sharing, two-way dynamic communication channels and a clear consensus on what constitutes threats and solutions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)66-86
Number of pages21
JournalTransportation Research Part F: Traffic Psychology and Behaviour
Early online date22 Oct 2020
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2020


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