The influence of system transparency on trust: Evaluating interfaces in a highly automated vehicle

Luis Oliveira, Christopher Burns, Jacob Luton, Sumeet Iyer, Stewart Birrell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Previous studies indicate that, if an automated vehicle communicates its system status and intended behaviour, it could increase user trust and acceptance. However, it is still unclear what types of interfaces will better portray this type of information. The present study evaluated different configurations of screens comparing how they communicated the possible hazards in the environment (e.g. vulnerable road users), and vehicle behaviours (e.g. intended trajectory). These interfaces were presented in a fully automated vehicle tested by 25 participants in an indoor arena. Surveys and interviews measured trust, usability and experience after users were driven by an automated low-speed pod. Participants experienced four types of interfaces, from a simple journey tracker to a windscreen-wide augmented reality (AR) interface which overlays hazards highlighted in the environment and the trajectory of the vehicle. A combination of the survey and interview data showed a clear preference for the AR windscreen and an animated representation of the environment. The trust in the vehicle featuring these interfaces was significantly higher than pretrial measurements. However, some users questioned if they want to see this information all the time. One additional result was that some users felt motion sick when presented with the more engaging content. This paper provides recommendations for the design of interfaces with the potential to improve trust and user experience within highly automated vehicles.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)280-296
Number of pages17
JournalTransportation Research Part F: Traffic Psychology and Behaviour
Early online date30 Jun 2020
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2020


Innovate UK Grant competition code: 1407_CRD1_TRANS_DCAR.


  • Automated vehicles
  • System transparency
  • Trust in automation
  • User experience

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Automotive Engineering
  • Transportation
  • Applied Psychology

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