Put your trust in an automated car

FEATURE4 December 2019

Put your trust in an automated car

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Automotive Features Impact

Driverless cars require humans to hand over control and trust their vehicles. But this trust depends on the timing of information delivered by the cars, as Jane Bainbridge reports

If autonomous vehicles (AVs) are going to be the future of driving, as people predict, then we’re going to have to learn to trust them. Driverless cars are hailed in some quarters as offering more fuel-efficient driving, reducing accidents and being key to more holistic transport strategies, as they sense the surrounding environment with no – or minimal – driver involvement.

Handing over control to a vehicle, however, is a significant shift in people’s behaviour, and requires drivers to believe their cars are going to make the safest and correct choices.

In light of this, researchers at the University of Michigan have studied how the vehicle voice prompt affects people’s trust in an AV. Lionel Robert, associate professor, School of Information, at the university, says he was drawn to this research because – having previously studied trust in humans – he realised it was based on expectations.

“We expect people to behave in a certain way, and when they don’t live up to those expectations, ...