Under pressure: Effect of a ransomware and a screen failure on trust and driving performance in an automated car simulation

William Payre, Jaume Perello March, Stewart Birrell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
34 Downloads (Pure)


One major challenge for automated cars is to not only be safe, but also secure. Indeed, connected vehicles are vulnerable to cyberattacks, which may jeopardize individuals’ trust in these vehicles and their safety. In a driving simulator experiment, 38 participants were exposed to two screen failures: silent (i.e., no turn signals on the in-vehicle screen and instrument cluster) and explicit (i.e., ransomware attack), both while performing a non-driving related task (NDRT) in a conditionally automated vehicle. Results showed that objective trust decreased after experiencing the failures. Drivers took over control of the vehicle and stopped their NDRT more often after the explicit failure than after the silent failure. Lateral control of the vehicle was compromised when taking over control after both failures compared to automated driving performance. However, longitudinal control proved to be smoother in terms of speed homogeneity compared to automated driving performance. These findings suggest that connectivity failures negatively affect trust in automation and manual driving performance after taking over control. This research posits the question of the importance of connectivity in the realm of trust in automation. Finally, we argue that engagement in a NDRT while riding in automated mode is an indicator of trust in the system and could be used as a surrogate measure for trust.
Original languageEnglish
Article number1078723
Number of pages10
JournalFrontiers in Psychology
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2023

Bibliographical note

Copyright © 2023 Payre, Perelló-March and Birrell. 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) and the copyright owner(s) 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


This work was supported by the UKRI Trustworthy Autonomous Systems Hub (EP/V00784X/1).


  • automation
  • driving
  • trust
  • safety
  • ransomware
  • failure
  • performance
  • cybersecurity


Dive into the research topics of 'Under pressure: Effect of a ransomware and a screen failure on trust and driving performance in an automated car simulation'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this