DOI: 10.3390/su16010063 ISSN: 2071-1050

Analysing the Effects of Scenario-Based Explanations on Automated Vehicle HMIs from Objective and Subjective Perspectives

Jun Ma, Xuejing Feng
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Building and Construction

Automated vehicles (AVs) are recognized as one of the most effective measures to realize sustainable transport. These vehicles can reduce emissions and environmental pollution, enhance accessibility, improve safety, and produce economic benefits through congestion reduction and cost savings. However, the consumer acceptance of and trust in these vehicles are not ideal, which affects the diffusion speed of AVs on the market. Providing transparent explanations of AV behaviour is a method for building confidence and trust in AV technologies. In this study, we investigated the explainability of user interface information in an Automated Valet Parking (AVP) system—one of the first L4 automated driving systems with a large commercial landing. Specifically, we proposed a scenario-based explanation framework based on explainable AI and examined the effects of these explanations on drivers’ objective and subjective performance. The results of Experiment 1 indicated that the scenario-based explanations effectively improved drivers’ situational trust and user experience (UX), thereby enhancing the perception and understanding that drivers had of the system’s intelligence capabilities. These explanations significantly reduced the mental workload and elevated the user performance in objective evaluations. In Experiment 2, we uncovered distinct explainability preferences among new and frequent users. New users sought increased trust and transparency, benefiting from guided explanations. In contrast, frequent users emphasised efficiency and driving safety. The final experimental results confirmed that solutions customised for different segments of the population are significantly more effective, satisfying, and trustworthy than generic solutions. These findings demonstrate that the explanations for individual differences, based on our proposed scenario-based framework, have significant implications for the adoption and sustainability of AVs.

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