To assess and explain finely drivers’ a priori acceptance of highly automated cars, this study used the Theory of Planned Behaviour (TPB) and the Unified Theory of Acceptance and Use of Technology (UTAUT). Further, the current study sought to extend upon previous research to assess if intentions to use highly automated cars in the future differed according to country (i.e., Australia, France, & Sweden). These three countries were selected to enable comparisons of a priori acceptance between countries of differing levels of exposure to highly automated cars. Participants (N = 1563; 62.1 % male) were recruited in Australia (n = 558), France (n = 625), and Sweden (n = 380) to complete a 20 min online questionnaire. The findings differed according to country of residence. Individuals residing in France reported significantly greater intentions to use highly automated cars when they become publicly available compared to individuals residing in Australia and in Sweden. Of the TPB constructs entered at step 1 in the hierarchical regression, attitudes, subjective norms, and perceived behavioural control (capability and controllability) were significant predictors of intentions to use highly automated cars for participants residing in Australia and France. For participants residing in Sweden, only attitudes and PBC-capability were significant predictors of intentions. Of the UTAUT constructs entered at step 2, performance expectancy and effort expectancy were significant predictors of intentions for participants residing in France and only performance expectancy a significant predictor of intentions for participants residing in both Australia and Sweden. Age and gender did not add to the prediction of intentions when entered at step 3. However, pre-existing knowledge was a significant negative predictor of intentions when entered at step 3 for participants residing in Australia. Overall, the findings found some support for applying the TPB and UTAUT to assess intentions to use highly automated cars in different countries. The findings also highlight differences in a priori acceptance across countries and the factors which predict such acceptance.Copyright © 2020 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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