Understanding user trust after software malfunctions and cyber intrusions of digital displays: A use case of automated automotive systems


UKRI EPSRC TAS programme



Project Team

Dr William Payre

Dr Giedre Sabaliauskaite

Professor Stewart Birrell

Professor Siraj Ahmed Shaikh




Project is led by Coventry University


28 April 2021 – 31 March 2022

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Project Overview

This research investigates the cyber security, human factors and trust aspects of screen failures during automated driving. Screen failures can be either silent (i.e. drivers are not informed) or explicit (i.e. drivers are warned).

From the cyber perspective, we will be conducting a threat analysis, with our industrial stakeholders, of in-vehicle digital displays. This will lead to a series of use cases being developed when possible malfunction or intrusion (hacking) would occur. These use cases are replicated in our driving simulator where we will investigate participants’ responses to aspects like trust in the automation, driving performance, safety, and biometrics.

Project Objectives

The objective of this study is to understand the extent to which software malfunctions and cyber intrusions of digital displays occurring in conditionally automated vehicles impact drivers’ trust – and by extension road safety if they decide to regain manual control of the vehicle.

We expect to generate a set of realistic use-cases where screen safety failures, caused by either software failure or cyber-attack, impair the information displayed on the in-vehicle displays. Both software failure and cyber-attack may result in not displaying overtaking manoeuvres or activating turn signals. In addition, a cyber-attack may lead to a security breach warning or ransomware popping up the screen. These use-cases will be integrated in a bespoke driving simulation environment allowing to collect behavioural, physiological and attitudinal data.

Impact Statement

This Pump-Priming project proposal fits with the following Grand Challenge: To ensure TAS improve rather than harm our physical and mental wellbeing. The research aims to understand if failures of conditionally automated (SAE level 3) vehicle’s embedded screens affect drivers’ trust, while exposing them to hazardous and critical situations through automated to manual driving handover. In addition, failing to display trustworthy information on the vehicle status and incoming manoeuvres could result in disuse of the automated system and impact road safety.

This project also supports the DfT principle that New modes of transport and new mobility services must be safe and secure by design. The research applies to cybersecurity, human factors, road safety and wider autonomous systems.

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University of the year shortlisted
QS Five Star Rating 2023