2014 Volume 3 Issue 1 Pages 108-124
This study focuses on identifying factors that promote personal mobility (PM) technologies as an immediate means of responding to the mobility needs of elderly populations. It is known that in the case of new products that are largely unfamiliar to customers, the behavior and judgments of friends and acquaintances have a powerful effect on people's desire to gather information and, ultimately, to purchase. To analyze quantitatively the effect of friends and acquaintances on individuals’ decision-making behavior, we developed a discrete choice model considering the impact of PM product penetration. We likewise modeled friend and acquaintance relationships by applying the complex network analysis method. The empirical analysis of questionnaires collected in Koyo Newtown in Hiroshima city reveals the existence of a social conformity effect with respect to PM use preferences. The influence of friends and acquaintances in that setting has an impact equivalent to a net 5% decrease in PM rental prices.