Special Issue for it – information technology

In the area of automotive user interfaces (research) a lot changed during the last few years and since the last “it – information technology” special issue in 2012. Given the expected shift towards automated driving, the rising importance of climate change, and the appearance of novel mobility forms, new challenges and opportunities for research have appeared. A lot of research activities shifted from investigating how to support interaction in and around manually-driven cars towards understanding how to design vehicles in the transition towards automation and with alternative propulsion technologies from a human perspective. This relates both to interaction aspects inside and outside of the vehicle. 

Looking at the interaction within the car, novel HCI aspects refer, for example, to the design of control transitions between driver and vehicle and how to support non-driving-related tasks once the driver can assume a passenger role in the (partly) automated car. Especially with a gradual transition towards automated driving, we see many challenges on how to shift responsibilities between the car and the driver or how to implement shared control. This also involves aspects on creating and maintaining situational awareness and especially finding solutions to establish and maintain trust while leveraging user acceptance of automation technology. 

Furthermore, the role of infotainment becomes even more important as we can imagine that the interior may convert into a mobile office, living room, dining room, or maybe even support relaxation and sleeping – at least in the far future. This inevitably translates to a need for rethinking the interior, finding novel interaction concepts, and investigating how, for instance, novel materials, shape change, or novel user interfaces can assist drivers and passengers and make the ride more comfortable.

Once the car takes over control, another arising challenge is the design of the communication with other road users such as pedestrians, cyclists or drivers of manually driven cars: As the driver does not have to monitor the road and may be involved in non-driving-related activities, other road users may lose the ability to communicate with the driver (e.g. through gestures and gaze) and technical solutions may be needed to replace this traditional form of communication. The influence of such communication concepts on the driving behavior, traffic flow, and their social acceptability can play an important role in future traffic situations.

As the major research direction has significantly changed since the last IT special issue on this topic, with this prospective special issue on automotive user interfaces in the age of the (almost) automated vehicle, we want to give an overview of hot topics in this field and outline the current challenges and research directions as mentioned above and specified in the exemplary list topics outlined below.

Publication of our special issue

We are happy to announce that the special issue was published:

  • Editorial: Pfleging, Bastian, Sadeghian, Shadan and Dey, Debargha. “User interfaces for automated vehicles” it – Information Technology, vol. 63, no. 2, 2021, pp. 73-75. https://doi.org/10.1515/itit-2021-0020
  • Novakazi, F., Johansson, M., Erhardsson, G. & Lidander, L. (2021). Who’s in charge?: The influence of perceived control on responsibility and mode awareness in driving automation. it – Information Technology, 63(2), 77-85. https://doi.org/10.1515/itit-2020-0020
  • Scatturin, L., Erbach, R. & Baumann, M. (2021). When does the driver feel ready to drive again after automated driving? – A qualitative approach. it – Information Technology, 63(2), 87-97. https://doi.org/10.1515/itit-2020-0021
  • Andersson, J., Habibovic, A. & Rizgary, D. (2021). First encounter effects in testing of highly automated vehicles during two experimental occasions – The need for recurrent testing. it – Information Technology, 63(2), 99-110. https://doi.org/10.1515/itit-2020-0023
  • Wintersberger, P., Janotta, F., Peintner, J., Löcken, A. & Riener, A. (2021). Evaluating feedback requirements for trust calibration in automated vehicles. it – Information Technology, 63(2), 111-122. https://doi.org/10.1515/itit-2020-0024
  • Dey, D., Matviienko, A., Berger, M., Pfleging, B., Martens, M. & Terken, J. (2021). Communicating the intention of an automated vehicle to pedestrians: The contributions of eHMI and vehicle behavior. it – Information Technology, 63(2), 123-141. https://doi.org/10.1515/itit-2020-0025

Important Dates & Facts


In this special issue, we especially invite researchers, scientists, developers, and practitioners to submit contributions that are original and unpublished and have not been submitted to any other journal, magazine, or conference. We are soliciting original research related to automotive user interfaces in the age of automation including – but not limited to – the following:

  • human-computer interaction related aspects of automated vehicles in the transition towards automated driving
  • user experience and usability
  • novel approaches & technologies
  • human factors

In detail this could be related for instance to:

  • Interaction within the car
    • Non-Driving-Related Activities
    • Take-Over Requests / Control Transitions
    • Interaction modalities and novel interiors, e.g., 
      • In-vehicle displays, including AR, 3D, HUD, …
      • Physiological interfaces
      • Affective computing & emotions
      • Haptic interfaces
      • Shape-changing interfaces and novel materials
      • Multimodal interfaces
    • Infotainment Systems & Passenger Entertainment
    • Driver Assistance
  • Interacting with other road users
    • Interaction between cyclists and pedestrians and automated vehicles
    • Interacting with (other) automated vehicles & drivers
  • Shared control and authority
  • Mixed traffic scenarios
  • Mode and situation awareness
  • Vehicle-infrastructure interaction
  • Legal issues and legislation
  • Theories and research methods
  • Acceptance, trust and complacency
  • Interfaces and system that support sustainable and economic driving

Manuscript Submission Information

To better plan the publication of this special issue, we followed a two-stage approach: First, we ask authors submit title and abstract of their intended submission as soon as possible. We will use this to provide very quick and short feedback whether the submission fits to the topics of this special issue. The submitted full submissions will undergo a thorough review process and are reviewed by domain experts. Acceptance decisions will only be based on the reviews of the full submissions.

Abstracts shall be submitted by e-mail to it-special-issue(Replace this parenthesis with the @ sign)ubisys.org.

Manuscripts should be submitted online at http://www.editorialmanager.com/itit/ until the deadline. Please choose “Automotive User Interfaces in the Age of Automation” as section/category in step 3 of the submission process. Research and review articles are invited. All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. 

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere. Material that has been published in a semi-archival, widely disseminated publication (such as CHI Extended Abstracts), shall not be republished unless the work has been “significantly” revised. Guidelines for determining “significance” of a revision are stated in the ACM Policy on Pre-Publication Evaluation and the ACM Policy on Prior Publication and Simultaneous Submissions. Roughly, a significant revision would contain at least 25% unpublished material and significantly amplify or clarify the original material. These are subjective measures left to the interpretation of the reviewers and guest editors – authors are wise to revise well beyond the Policy guidelines. Whenever submitting material that has partially appeared in a widely disseminated publication, it is good practice to cite the prior publication in accordance with common rules as the ACM’s Plagiarism Policy and explicitly state the differences between the new and prior material. Authors shall get appropriate written permissions from any copyright holders of the original paper if required.

Authors are requested to follow the author instructions for the full manuscript submission to the Journal of information technology and to submit manuscripts through http://www.editorialmanager.com/itit/. Manuscript templates are available for Word and LaTeX.

If you have any queries concerning this special issue, please send an e-mail to it-special-issue(Replace this parenthesis with the @ sign)ubisys.org to reach the guest editors.

Guest Editors

The team of guest editors consists of Bastian Pfleging (Eindhoven University of Technology), Shadan Sadeghian Borojeni (Siegen University), and Debargha Dey (Eindhoven University of Technology).

Bastian Pfleging is Assistant Professor for Future Mobility at Eindhoven University of Technology (Netherlands) and postdocoral researcher at LMU Munich, Germany. His special research interests are automotive user interfaces, now with a focus on non-driving-related activities, the transition towards automated driving, and novel mobility concepts. He was involved in co-organizing various workshops at AutomotiveUI and CHI and co-organized various conferences, for instance as a program chair of AutomotiveUI’17, and WIP chair in 2015 and 2016. Since 2018, he is member of the steering committee of AutomotiveUI and he will be one of the General Chairs of AutomotiveUI’22.

Shadan Sadeghian Borojeni is a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Siegen in Germany. Her research focuses on designing multimodal interfaces in highly automated vehicles. Previously she was a researcher at OFFIS Institue for Information Technology, and Max Planck institute for biological cybernetics. She has co-organized several workshops and tutorials at AutomotiveUI’15-16-17-18 and CHI’18-19.

Debargha Dey (Eindhoven University of Technology) is researcher and PhD candidate at Eindhoven University of Technology. His research focus is on automotive user interfaces where he specifically investigates the interaction between automated vehicles and other road users.