David A. Noyce, Ph.D., P.E.
University of Wisconsin - Madison
Civil Engineering



Evolution of User Trust in Autonomous Vehicles and Characteristics of Disengagements

Autonomous vehicles (AVs) have the potential to enable a safe, efficient, equitable, healthy, and sustainable transportation system and communities. The expectation is that traffic safety will improve and not deteriorate once AVs enter the transportation ecosystem. However, a recent survey conducted by the American Automobile Association (AAA) reported that 73% of drivers are “too afraid” to ride in a self-driving vehicle. Public enthusiasm for and trust in AVs has been significantly impacted following multiple fatal crashes involving vehicles with varying levels of automation. Understanding trust in AV technology is complex, involving technological as well as social dimensions, and we have a limited understanding of how the trust varies demographically, what factors are at play, and what we can do to improve the trust. Additionally, there is limited or no research on the trust of potential operators in AVs. A crucial aspect of AV control in SAE L3 and L4 vehicles is disengagement of automation and handover to manual control. Through field deployment of an AV, this project will study how rider and operator trust in AVs evolves over time and will characterize AV disengagements.