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Egocentric, Altruistic, or Hypocritic?: A Cross-Cultural Study of Choice between Pedestrian-first and Driver-first of Autonomous Car
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  • Masaharu Mizumoto ,
  • Ono, Shigeharu ,
  • Okazaki, Yumi ,
  • Kanetsuna, Keigo
Masaharu Mizumoto
Japan Advanced Institute of Science and Technology, Japan Advanced Institute of Science and Technology, Japan Advanced Institute of Science and Technology

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Ono, Shigeharu
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Okazaki, Yumi
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Kanetsuna, Keigo
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How should the autonomous car behave when faced with an unavoidable fatal accident? The answer may vary depending on the perspective from which the choice is made. If people answer this question as a driver, choosing a car that prioritizes the driver’s safety looks egocentric, and choosing a car that prioritizes pedestrians’ safety looks altruistic. On the other hand, if people’s attitudes change depending on whether one’s choice is visible to others, this time that looks hypocritic if they tend to choose the pedestrian-first car when others can see the choice. At the same time, we may also expect that these answers vary culturally. However, if there are such cultural differences, that should affect policies of governments, lawmakers, car manufacturers, and marketers. To investigate people’s safety preference from the driver’s perspective and their possible hypocritic tendency, together with its possible cultural variance, we conducted a survey (N = 683) with Japanese, Chinese, and American participants. We found some interesting and unexpected cultural differences in their answers, which should provide valuable new data for future discussions on the issues surrounding the autonomous car.