Anthropomorphizing information to enhance trust in autonomous vehicles

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

36 Citations (Scopus)
239 Downloads (Pure)


Trust is an essential condition for accepting and relying on autonomous vehicles. One of the well-studied factors contributing to trust in automation systems is anthropomorphism. It is expected that anthropomorphism may also enhance trust in the field of autonomous vehicles. A study is presented that investigated the effect of anthropomorphic embodiment for information about the vehicle's maneuvers on people's trust in autonomous vehicles. In a driving simulator experiment deploying a between-subjects design, participants (N = 39) were exposed to varying amounts of information displaying upcoming actions of an autonomous vehicle (symbolic information or symbolic + anthropomorphic information). Each group rated trust and liking for the test condition against a reference condition where no information about the upcoming actions was provided through questionnaires. Symbolic + anthropomorphic information resulted in significantly more trust than symbolic information. Through one-sample tests, it was found that ratings for symbolic + anthropomorphic information were significantly different from no information, while symbolic information by itself was not. Ratings for perceived anthropomorphism were positively correlated with trust and liking. It is concluded that anthropomorphizing information may foster the perception of autonomous vehicles as social agents and enhance trust in those vehicles.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)352-359
Number of pages8
JournalHuman Factors and Ergonomics in Manufacturing & Service Industries
Issue number6
Early online date22 May 2018
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2018


  • anthropomorphism
  • autonomous vehicles
  • human-vehicle interaction
  • information transparency
  • trust


Dive into the research topics of 'Anthropomorphizing information to enhance trust in autonomous vehicles'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this