Trust in Autonomous Vehicles

Lead Research Organisation: Brunel University
Department Name: Design


Problem Statement

Several recent research studies have suggested that "lack of trust" is one of the major factors which is slowing the commercial introduction of autonomous vehicles. While the technologies themselves are evolving rapidly and are achieving great leaps forward in driving safety, the human occupants of autonomous vehicles can become uncomfortable due to the lack of unnaturalness and intuitiveness of the situation. Autonomous systems have few precedents in human history and are thus generally unfamiliar to people. In addition, current forms of automation normally communicate information about "state" rather than "intention" during operation, making it difficult for people to fully understand the trajectory of events and nearly impossible to perform predictions regarding what will happen next.

The research project will investigate the psychological and sociological construct of "trust" in relation to autonomous vehicles. Particular attention will be paid to how humans develop trust in other living creatures and in automation.

This project will be conducted by the Human Centred Design Institute (HCDI) of Brunel University and will benefit from synergies with its other automotive sector projects such as "Naturalness of Control Interfaces" and "Automotive Habitat". Human Centred Design involves methods which communicate, interact, empathise and stimulate the people involved, obtaining an understanding of their needs, desires and experiences. The work programme will be highly efficient because the researcher's (Isabelle Reid) skill set in design and design ethnography avoids the need for costly and time consuming training relative to the human evaluation methods required by the project.


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Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
EP/R511869/1 01/10/2017 30/09/2022
2022038 Studentship EP/R511869/1 01/06/2017 31/12/2017 Isabelle Reid