Trust in automated vehicles: constructs, psychological processes and assessment

Francesco Walker, Yannick Forster, Sebastian Hergeth, Johannes M. Kraus, William Payre, Philipp Wintersberger, Marieke Martens

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Downloads (Pure)


There is a growing body of research on trust in driving automation systems. In this paper, we seek to clarify the way trust is conceptualized, calibrated and measured taking into account issues related to specific levels of driving automation. We find that: 1) experience plays a vital role in trust calibration; 2) experience should be measured not just in terms of distance travelled, but in terms of the range of situations encountered; 3) system malfunctions and recovery from such malfunctions is a fundamental part of this experience. We summarize our findings in a framework describing the dynamics of trust calibration. We observe that methods used to quantify trust often lack objectivity, reliability, and validity, and propose a set of recommendations for researchers seeking to select suitable trust measures for their studies. In conclusion, we argue that the safe deployment of current and future automated vehicles depends on drivers developing appropriate levels of trust. Given the potentially severe consequences of miscalibrated trust, it is essential that drivers incorporate the possibility of new and unexpected driving situations in their mental models of system capabilities. It is vitally important that we develop methods that contribute to this goal.
Original languageEnglish
Article number1279271
Number of pages13
JournalFrontiers in Psychology
Publication statusPublished - 23 Nov 2023

Bibliographical note

© 2023 Walker, Forster, Hergeth, Kraus, Payre, Wintersberger and Martens. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) or licensor are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.


  • Trust
  • trust in automation
  • automated driving
  • self-driving
  • trust calibration
  • human factors
  • automated vehicles
  • SAE levels


Dive into the research topics of 'Trust in automated vehicles: constructs, psychological processes and assessment'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this