Autonomous Vehicle Adoption in Developing Countries: Futurist Insights

Nader Zali, Sara Amiri, Tan Yigitcanlar, Ali Soltani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)
66 Downloads (Pure)


In recent years, research into autonomous vehicles (AVs) has become highly popular in industrialized nations due to their importance in the future success of smart cities. Research on this mobility technology and the critical elements affecting its development in developing countries, however, has been rather limited. This paper aims to shed light on the most influential elements of AV adoption in developing nations. A structural analysis approach is used, based on the primary qualitative data—that was gathered via an expert-opinion poll utilizing the fuzzy Delphi with a snowballing method and engaging 25 experts in the field in two rounds—, in accordance with the tradition of futurist research. The analysis has led to the identification of 11 key factors, from the initial factor pool of 54, affecting AV adoption in the case study context of Iran. The results of the analysis revealed the following conclusions, that fall under the policy and legislation domain, and present the most significant issues impacting AV adoption: (a) Future orientation of government—consistency and of accountability of policies, the long-term vision of the government for developing AVs industry; (b) Managing the international sanctions for foreign investment, and; (c) Funding mega projects to enable AVs. The results indicate that the establishment of legislation and the formulation of government policy regarding the provision of infrastructure, investment, and credit allocation are crucial for the development of AVs in Iran and other developing nations with comparable characteristics.

Original languageEnglish
Article number8464
Number of pages26
Issue number22
Publication statusPublished - 2 Nov 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • autonomous driving
  • autonomous vehicles
  • Delphi study
  • developing countries
  • driverless car
  • futurist research
  • Iran
  • smart mobility
  • technology acceptance
  • technology adoption


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