Building Trust in Autonomous Vehicles


Trust is central to the acceptance and adoption of Autonomous Vehicles (AV), but also poses a significant challenge. Reservations and distrust of this new technology are widespread. But little research exists on Trust in AV, and what does exist focuses mostly on human-machine interaction.


Our Researchers in Residence activity is part of our Academic Engagement Programme and develops new collaborations through research visits/residencies for university academics to spend time embedded within the Catapult teams to build stronger partnerships in the national innovation system and supporting the best environment for innovation.

This project is being undertaken by Dr Frens Kroeger of Coventry University and focuses on reasons why different stakeholder groups trust – or do not trust – autonomous vehicles, and ways in which AV can become more trustworthy.


This project will approach research and interventions for trust in Autonomous Vehicles from a new, broader perspective.

This project investigates the trust not only of AV drivers, but also of the general public; businesses; engineers; and policy makers. Interviews are conducted with each stakeholder group in order to capture their different perspectives on trust and distrust.

The project will also draw on specialist insights from the field of trust research to distinguish between important dimensions of trust and distrust. For instance, trust in the capability of the system to keep you safe vs. trust in the system’s “ethics”; trust in technological sophistication vs. trust in safety legislation; and information-driven vs. emotion-driven bases of trust.

Based on rigorous research, the project will design recommendations for increasing the trustworthiness of AV, as defined by the different stakeholder groups, from technological, social, and legal perspectives. In this way the project aims to contribute directly to a sustainable increase in justified trust and acceptance of Autonomous Vehicles.