Graduation Year


Date of Submission


Document Type

Open Access Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Second Department


Reader 1

Craig Bowman

Reader 2

Dean Peter Uvin

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Rights Information

© 2015 Reilly Jackson Umberger


Autonomous, otherwise known as self-driving, vehicles represent the future of transportation. Vehicles that drive themselves offer far reaching benefits from increased leisure and productivity for individuals to significant improvements in congestion and infrastructure for governments. The autonomous car will radically change the way we look at transportation, and they are right around the corner. However, the question remains: are we ready? Are we, as a society, ready to hand over the steering the wheel and trust autonomous vehicles with our safety? This paper predicts how the autonomous car will spread through society by analyzing and applying the product qualities and consumer types described in Everett Rogers’ Diffusion of Innovations Theory. Corporations, specifically Uber and Amazon, as opposed to individual consumers, will be the first to adapt, purchase and implement autonomous vehicles. Contrary to popular belief, these vehicles will not be successfully introduced as privately owned vehicles, and therefore, must be marketed towards corporations and organizations.