Several recent surveys report a gap between how men and women feel about
autonomous vehicles. While such binaries may have limited usefulness, female
respondents rank autonomous technology as less trustworthy and are
less likely than men to report feeling safe in an autonomous car. This comment
frames such results within the articles for this special section on autonomous
vehicles, showing how reported gender divisions are resultant from discursive
formations that frame user experience and individual performed experiences.
These discursive-material dynamics generate persuasive configurations of
power that thoughtful research and action in autonomous vehicle development
could help mitigate. After summarizing survey diff erences, this comment
off ers a brief commentary on how they might be addressed, focusing on material
rhetoric and vehicle design.