Skip to main content
Log in

Trust and the use of adaptive cruise control: a study of a cut-in situation

  • Original Article
  • Published:
Cognition, Technology & Work Aims and scope Submit manuscript


This paper analyses driver trust and performance when using adaptive cruise control (ACC) in a situation involving a truck cutting into the lane in front of the ACC-equipped vehicle. The study was carried out using a mini driving simulator and a simulated ACC whose reference speed and time headway (THW) were preset to 130 km/h and 1.5 s, respectively. Questionnaires were used to analyse driver trust. Two kinds of drivers emerge from the analysis of driver behaviour during the cut-in situation: drivers who reclaimed control from the ACC before the device began to regulate the THW with regard to the truck, and drivers who braked after the device had begun its regulation. The latter demonstrated a higher level of trust in the ACC device itself while the former had a higher level of trust in the cooperation with the device. These findings are discussed in terms of over-reliance and well-calibrated trust.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in via an institution to check access.

Access this article

Subscribe and save

Springer+ Basic
EUR 32.99 /Month
  • Get 10 units per month
  • Download Article/Chapter or Ebook
  • 1 Unit = 1 Article or 1 Chapter
  • Cancel anytime
Subscribe now

Buy Now

Price excludes VAT (USA)
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.

Instant access to the full article PDF.

Fig. 1
Fig. 2
Fig. 3

Similar content being viewed by others



Adaptive cruise control


Cut-in situation


Time headway


French acronym for the Driving Safety Research Program


French acronym for the National Institute for Transport and Safety Research


French acronym for the Laboratory of Industrial and Human Automation, Mechanics and Computer Sciences


French acronym for Cognitive Psychology and Ergonomics


  • Bisantz AM, Seong Y (2001) Assessment of operator trust in and utilization of automated decision-aids under different framing conditions. Int J Ind Ergon 28:85–97

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Boer ER, Hoedemaeker M (1998) Modeling driver behavior with different degrees of automation: a hierarchical decision framework of interacting mental models. In: Proceedings of the XVIIth European annual conference on human decision making and manual control, Valenciennes, France, pp. 14–16

  • Cohen MS, Parasuraman R, Freeman, JT (1998) Trust in decisions aids: a model and its training implication. Retrieved January 17, 2002, from

  • Dzindolet MT, Beck HP, Pierce LG, Dawe LA (2001) A framework of automation use (Rep. No. ARL-TR-2412). Army Research Laboratory, Aberdeen Proving Ground, M.D. Retrieved January 13, 2004, from

  • Dzindolet MT, Peterson SA, Pomranky RA, Pierce LG, Beck HP (2003) The role of trust in automation reliance. Int J Hum Comput Stud 58:697–718

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Espié S, Rajaonah B, Auberlet JM, Vienne F (2004) How to evaluate the driver’s trust in ITS? Example of ACC. Paper presented at the 4th ITS in Europe 2004 congress and exhibition, Budapest, Hungary

  • Goodrich MA, Boer ER (2003) Model-based human-centered task automation: a case study in ACC system design. IEEE Trans Syst Man Cybern A Syst Hum 33:325–336

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Hoedemaeker M, Brookhuis KA (1998) Behavioural adaptation to driving with an adaptive cruise control (ACC). Transportation Res F 1:95–106

    Google Scholar 

  • Hollnagel E, Woods DD (1983) Cognitive systems engineering: new wine in new bottles. Int J Man Mach Stud 18:583–600

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Jian JY, Bisantz AM, Drury CG (2000) Foundations for an empirically determined scale of trust in automated systems. Int J Cogn Ergon 4:53–71

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Lee J, Moray N (1992) Trust, control strategies and allocation of function in human–machine systems. Ergonomics 35:1243–1270

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Lee J, Moray N (1994) Trust, self-confidence, and operators’ adaptation to automation. Int J Hum Comput Stud 40:153–184

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Lee JD, See KA (2004) Trust in technology: designing for appropriate reliance. Hum Factors 46:50–80

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Millot P, Hoc JM (1997) Human–machine cooperation: metaphor or possible reality? Workshop on human–machine cooperation. ECCS’97. Manchester, UK

  • Muir BM (1988) Trust between humans and machines, and the design of decision aids. In: Hollnagel E, et al (eds) Cognitive engineering in complex dynamic worlds. Academic, London, pp 71–83

    Google Scholar 

  • Muir BM (1994) Trust in automation: Part I. Theoretical issues in the study of trust and human intervention in automated systems. Ergonomics 37:1905–1922

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Muir BM, Moray N (1996) Trust in automation. Part II. Experimental studies of trust and human intervention in a process control simulation. Ergonomics 39:429–460

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Parasuraman R, Riley V (1997) Humans and automation: use, misuse, disuse, abuse. Hum Factors 39:230–253

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Prinzel LJ, DeVries H, Freeman FG, Mikulka P (2001) Examination of automation-induced complacency and individual difference variates. Retrieved July 31, 2004, from ltrs/PDF/2001/tm/NASA-2001-tm211413.pdf

  • Rajaonah B, Anceaux F, Espié S, Hoc JM (2003) A study of the link between trust and use of an adaptive cruise control. In: Gerrit CV, Hoorn JF (eds) Proceedings of 9th European conference on cognitive science approaches to process control. EACE, Amsterdam, pp 29–35

  • Riley V (1996) Operator reliance on automation: theory and data. In: Parasuraman R, Mouloua M (eds) Automation and human performance. Theory and applications. Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, New Jersey, pp 19–35

    Google Scholar 

  • Rudin-Brown CM, Parker HA (2004) Behavioural adaptation to adaptive cruise control (ACC): implications for preventive strategies. Transportation Res F 7:59–76

    Google Scholar 

  • Stanton NA, Marsden P (1996) Flow fly-by-wire to drive-by-wire: safety implications of automation vehicles. Saf Sci 24:35–49

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Stanton NA, Young M, McCaulder B (1997) Drive-by-wire: the case of driver workload and reclaiming control with adaptive cruise control. Saf Sci 27:149–159

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Ward NJ (2000) Automation of task processes: an example of intelligent transportation system. Hum Factors Ergon Manuf 10:395–408

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Zuboff S (1988) In the age of the smart machine. The future of work and power. Basic Books, New York

    Google Scholar 

Download references


This research was done within the framework of ARCOS with the financial support of the Ministries of Research, Transportation and Industry. We thank S. Espié (INRETS-MSIS) for the mini driving simulator; I. Aillerie (INRETS-CIR) for the scenario module, the 3D-imaging module and the data recorder module; M.-P. Pacaux-Lemoine and P. Simon (LAMIH-SHM) for their cooperation. We thank J.-M. Hoc (CNRS IRRCyN PsyCoTec) for his helpful comments.

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Corresponding author

Correspondence to Bako Rajaonah.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Rajaonah, B., Anceaux, F. & Vienne, F. Trust and the use of adaptive cruise control: a study of a cut-in situation. Cognition,Technology & Work 8, 146–155 (2006).

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Revised:

  • Accepted:

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: