Lack of trust in or acceptance of technology are some of the fundamental problems that might prevent the dissemination of automated driving. Technological advances, such as augmented reality aids like full-sized windshield displays or AR contact lenses, could be of help to provide a better system understanding to the user. In this work, we picked up on the question of whether augmented reality assistance has the potential to increase user acceptance and trust by communicating system decisions (i.e., transparent system behavior). To prove our hypothesis, we conducted two driving simulator studies to investigate the benefit of scenario augmentation in fully automated driving—first in normal (N=26) and then in rearward viewing (N=18) direction. Quantitative results indicate that the augmentation of traffic objects/participants otherwise invisible (e.g., due to dense fog), or the presentation of upcoming driving maneuvers while sitting backwards, is a feasible approach to increase user acceptance and trust. Results are further backed by qualitative findings from semistructured interviews and UX curves (a method to retrospectively report experience over time). We conclude that the application of augmented reality, in particular with the emergence of more powerful, lightweight, or integrated devices, is a good opportunity with high potential for automated driving.

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