Article on sociotechnical imaginaries and autonomous driving published

The article can be found here.


Although autonomous driving is expected to provide a solution for various mobility-related issues, ideas on how the technology will actually unfold are vague. Nevertheless, stakeholders in the field hold expectations about the technology and the future users. With very few exceptions, so far research does not focus on these expectations as social constructions of individuals and publics. In addition, these perceptions play only a minor role in the technology-centered debate. Thus, to bring these perceptions to light and to analyze their implications, we draw on the sociotechnical imaginaries approach to reconstruct stakeholders’ views of future users and publics. We perform a qualitative content analysis and show that imaginaries unfold along the themes of responsibility for the process of driving, rationality in decision-making, and acceptance for emerging technologies. We discuss how the themes relate to each other, what role science plays, and what implications follow from the respective stakeholders’ views.