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Climbing Aboard: What Will It Take for the Public to Trust and Accept AAM?

Show me the value!

The word "Trust" in skywriting

The word "Trust" in skywriting
With the prices of a ride aboard an air taxi yet to be established, a trio of researchers –  Dr. Rattawut Vongvit, an assistant professor in the Department of Industrial Engineering at Srinakharinwirot University in Bangkok Thailand, and Drs. Kyuho Maeng and Seul Chan Lee, assistant professors at Hanyang University in South Korea — sought to determine which factors the public at large will use to accept eVTOLs as part of their public transportation routines.

In their study, “Effects of trust and customer perceived value on the acceptance of urban air mobility as public transportation,” Vongvit, Maeng, and Lee, analyzed attitudes using structural equation modeling – research methodology which uses observational and experimental research to predict outcomes, primarily in social and behavioral sciences.

What’s it worth to you?

While much of the attention surrounding advanced air mobility (AAM, aka UAM – urban air mobility) is on the development and certification of the aircraft and the regulations and governance that will apply to them, at least one factor has yet to be taken into account: What will it take to get the traveling public to trust in AAM and will the fare from Point A to Point B be worth their time as compared to the conventional options currently available?

Value proposition

The researchers conducted an online survey of 573 people who were presented with 13 hypotheses regarding trust and customer-perceived value. The study revealed that functional value – what an offer does – proved to be the best indicator of whether or not AAM will find acceptance. Other values – emotional and social – also affected people’s trust in technology overall.

Trust in technology – the belief that a technology will behave as expected – contributes to consumers’ willingness to adopt the technology. Some of consumers’ concerns that heightened levels of fear and anxiety as it relates to AAM include adverse weather conditions, such as snow, low visibility in fog, and turbulence. The technology acceptance model (TAM), trust in technology, and a customer’s perceived value will determine how quickly consumers are as comfortable hailing an air taxi as routinely as they now hailing a cab to travel uptown to downtown or from an airport to a city center.

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Dave Clarke

Dave Clarke is a California-based writer who is fascinated by the way technology changes our lives.