Autonomous Vehicle Survey of Bicyclists and Pedestrians in Pittsburgh

In Pittsburgh, Autonomous Vehicle (AV) companies have been testing autonomous vehicles since September 2016. However, the tech is new, and there have been some high-profile behavior that we believe warrants a larger conversation. So in early 2017, we set out to design a survey to see both how BikePGH donor-members, and Pittsburgh residents at large, feel about about sharing the road with AVs as a bicyclist and/or as a pedestrian. Our survey asked participants how they feel about being a fellow road user with AVs, either walking or biking. We also wanted to collect stories about people’s experiences interacting with this nascent technology. We are unaware of any public surveys about people’s feelings or understanding of this new technology. We hope that our results will help add to the body of data and help the public and politicians understand the complexity of possible futures that different economic models AV technology can bring to our cities and towncenters.

We conducted our 2017 survey in two parts. First, we launched the survey exclusively to donor-members, yielding 321 responses (out of 2,900) via email. Once we closed the survey, we launched it again, but allowed the general public to take it. Through promoting it on our website, social media channels, and a few news articles, we yielded 798 responses (mostly from people in the Pittsburgh region), for a combined total of 1,119 responses.

Regarding the 2019 survey: In total, 795 people responded. BikePGH solicited responses from their blog, website, and email list. There were also a few local news articles about the survey. While many questions were kept similar to the 2017 survey, BikePGH wanted to dig a bit deeper into regulations as well as demographics this time around.

The 2019 follow up survey also aims to see how the landscape has changed, and how specifically, Pittsburghers on bike and on foot feel about sharing the road with AVs so that we’re all better prepared to deal with this new reality and help make sure that it is introduced as safely as humanly possible.

Data and Resources

Additional Info

Field Value
Public Access Level Comment

Open-ended responses have been removed prior to publication as open data to protect respondent's privacy. Contact BikePGH if interested in research access to full responses. Responses to an open-ended question asking about experiences with autonomous vehicles were coded by Regional Data Center staff.

Temporal Coverage 2017-02/2019-02
Geographic Unit Zip Code
Data Notes

Responses for BikePGH members appear separately from non-members in the 2017 survey. The 2019 table contains both members and non-members.

Related Document(s)
Frequency - Data Change As Needed
Frequency - Publishing As Needed
Data Steward Eric Boerer
Data Steward Email Eric Boerer