Driving style: How should an automated vehicle behave?

Luis Oliveira, Karl Proctor, Christopher G. Burns, Stewart Birrell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

52 Citations (Scopus)
32 Downloads (Pure)


This article reports on a study to investigate how the driving behaviour of autonomous vehicles influences trust and acceptance. Two different designs were presented to two groups of participants (n = 22/21), using actual autonomously driving vehicles. The first was a vehicle programmed to drive similarly to a human, "peeking" when approaching road junctions as if it was looking before proceeding. The second design had a vehicle programmed to convey the impression that it was communicating with other vehicles and infrastructure and "knew" if the junction was clear so could proceed without ever stopping or slowing down. Results showed non-significant differences in trust between the two vehicle behaviours. However, there were significant increases in trust scores overall for both designs as the trials progressed. Post-interaction interviews indicated that there were pros and cons for both driving styles, and participants suggested which aspects of the driving styles could be improved. This paper presents user information recommendations for the design and programming of driving systems for autonomous vehicles, with the aim of improving their users' trust and acceptance.

Original languageEnglish
Article number219
Number of pages20
JournalInformation (Switzerland)
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 25 Jun 2019
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).


  • Acceptance
  • Autonomous vehicles
  • Driving behaviour
  • Qualitative methods
  • User study
  • User-centred design

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Information Systems


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