Balance of arguments as difference between the frequencies of optimistic and pessimistic arguments.

Balance of arguments as difference between the frequencies of optimistic and pessimistic arguments.

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When, to what extent and under what conditions autonomous driving will become common practice depends not only on the level of technical development but also on social acceptance. Therefore, the rapid development of autonomous driving systems raises the question of how the public perceives this technology. As the mass media are regarded as the main...

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... readers who only notice the headlines get a more negative impression of autonomous driving than those who read the whole article. Concerning the arguments in the whole article, optimism predominates (Figure 4). Since the ratio of optimistic to pessimistic arguments per article were computed to determine the balance of the arguments, this analysis only refers to articles in which at least one argument is mentioned (N = 311). ...

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... Fatal accidents with autonomous vehicles can be expected to attract strong media attention during the first years of introducing automated driving technologies into daily traffic (e.g., Shariff et al., 2017;Jelinski et al., 2021). Two of the best-known examples of accidents involving vehicles with automated driving technologies are the 2016 Tesla accident and the 2018 Uber accident. ...
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... This is not uncommon and may be said to reflect the expert-based discourse surrounding automated vehicles (Hopkins & Schwanen, 2018a: 13;Mladenović, 2019: 111;Mladenović et al., 2020: 250-251): as experts, and stakeholders more generally, consider the societal benefits of technology to be self-evident, the public and its attitudes necessarily represent a barrier to the proliferation of that technology (Milakis & Müller, 2021: 2;McAslan et al., 2021: 8;Schot & Rip, 1997: 264;Stilgoe & Cohen, 2021: 850-851). Negative attitudes towards innovations are often imagined to be irrational (Bauer, 2017; for examples, see Graf & Sonnberger, 2020: 68;Stilgoe, 2021: 638), which is reflected in the emphasis on education: by providing the public with 'unbiased information', it will be easier to realise the benefits offered by the technology (Acheampong et al., 2021;Jelinski et al., 2021). ...
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