What would make you trust a digital driver?

The near-future norm of individual transportation might soon be shared autonomous cars summoned on demand via some mobility service. In a series of articles presented by the technology company Ictech, we will analyze what this change will mean for people’s relationship to- and experience of the car as such.

On-demand Autonomous Vehicle Services (OAVS) – or Robotaxis if you like – may still be considered an utopian vision. The vision is nonetheless slowly becoming reality with the introduction of Waymo’s service “Waymo One”, which as of December 2018 operates commercially in Phoenix, Arizona. In our previous article on the evolving OAVS business, we analyzed how the relationship between user and the vehicle might change as a result of the introduction of this new type of mobility business. We have also discussed how one of the key challenges in the deployment of highly automated vehicles is being able to ensure a good User Experience (UX) for the passengers throughout the ride.

In this second article in our series, “What would make you trust a digital driver”, we start go into detail of the user experience-related aspects of OAVS design and provide directions on what to focus on in terms of UX in order to become a successful player in the future mobility business. In particular, the current article focuses on one of the most discussed topics in the human-automation interaction domain, namely trust. Building trust among current and potential users is of great importance for the OAVS business as it is crucial for people to accept and adopt OAVS as a new means of transportation. The current article discusses what user-automation trust means in the context of the envisioned OAVS business and how different features of the business and the vehicles make people and the society as such willing to trust mobility services involving highly automated vehicle services.