The AgTech Startup Perspective to Farmers Ex Ante Acceptance Process of Autonomous Field Robots
Citable Link (URL):http://resolver.sub.uni-goettingen.de/purl?gs-1/17826
Autonomous vehicles not only provide a new impetus in the development of car models in the automotive industry—even in agriculture there has recently been talk of autonomous field robots (AFR). Great expectations are placed on these digital assistants from a wide variety of perspectives. However, it is still unclear whether they will make the transition from market niches to broad-based distribution. Apart from various factors, this depends on user acceptance of this new technology expected by the innovators, since this is likely to be essential for the further development of AFR. For this purpose, the ex ante user acceptance of farmers from the perspective of various AgTech startups with AFR involvement in Europe was investigated in this exploratory and qualitative study. The Technology Acceptance Model (TAM) served as the basis for the developed interview guideline. In summary, the results confirm that a variety of factors potentially influence farmer acceptance and AFR diffusion from the perspective of AgTech startups, with perceived usefulness being considered the main motivation for using AFR. The interviewed experts believe that AFR will initially be used in crops that have relatively high costs for crop protection treatments before becoming economically attractive for other crops. The basic prerequisite for a successful market launch is an adjustment of the legal framework, which sets standards in relation to AFR and thus, provides security in the production process. The results could support political decision-makers in dealing with this new technology and AFR manufacturers in the promotion of AFR.
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