Drivers' perceptions of smartphone applications for real-time route planning and distracted driving prevention
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Given the increasing importance and availability of traffic-related smartphone applications, understanding their potential use is vital, especially in developing countries. This research explores motorist perceptions of the installation and use of two smartphone applications - a distraction-prevention application and a real-time traffic information and navigation application - in Qatar, a rapidly developing country in the Arabian Gulf region. This study represents the first attempt to investigate the potential market for these types of applications in a region with a unique social and cultural environment. A questionnaire-based survey was conducted to examine the drivers' interest in using both applications, their willingness to buy the applications, and their data privacy concerns. The results indicated that the potential market for these types of smartphone applications in Qatar is high. The potential for the real-time route planning application was found to be much higher than that of the antidistraction application, especially among female drivers. A high percentage of the drivers, especially younger and local drivers, were less enthusiastic about installing and using the distracted driving prevention application. Most of the participants willing to use both smartphone applications did not have data privacy concerns, but in return for allowing the applications to access their data, they expected some reduction in travel time and a safer trip. These findings provide a direction for the development of future policies and smart solutions in this region.