PhD in Human-Robot Interaction: Trust in autonomous vehicles

HIT Lab NZ, University of Canterbury Published: June 27, 2017
Job Type


We are working with a consortium to explore the use of autonomous vehicles for the transportation of small groups. You will be working with a team on the first New Zealand trials of an autonomous vehicle at the Christchurch Airport using the Navya mini bus. This project focuses on the trust that passengers, bystanders and other members of the public have in autonomous vehicles. This may include questions about safety, but also about its ethical decision making. You will conduct a series of experiments to understand the relationship between the trust of the users of the vehicle and the vehicle's behavior, in particular concerning its communication with users.

An annual scholarship of NZD7,971 is available for three years. In addition, the candidate may apply for a competitive UC Doctoral Scholarship at NZD21,000 per annum and tuition fees at the domestic rate.

The Candidate

The ideal candidate would have a background in human-computer interaction or human-robot interaction. Knowledge of experimental design and data analysis are a benefit.

About the HIT Lab NZ

The HIT Lab NZ is a dynamic, international, multidisciplinary environment, bringing together people with varying viewpoints to design new ways of supporting people in their everyday lives, be it at work, play, or school. We take a human-centred approach, starting by looking at the people we are looking to support (e.g., young, old, skilled, unskilled), the tasks they need help with (e.g., repairing a device, visualizing a new house), and the environment they will be in (e.g., at work, in the home, visiting a museum), then designing solutions within these constraints using appropriate advanced technologies.

We hope to provide a welcoming space for people from a wide breadth of areas pertaining to the human condition, such as technical, design, artistic, and psychological. When in doubt, contact us! We're always looking for innovative thinkers!


International applicants will be required to arrange for their NZ student visa after an offer of a place. Please check for information about what type of visa might be most suitable and the process of acquiring it. The university has various types of accommodation available on campus. Please check for information about the options and prices. International students should also consult the International Student website at to learn about the cost of living, fees, and insurances.

How to apply

Please upload your complete application as one PDF file by 15 September 2017 below. Your application should include your CV, academic records, a one page statement of interest, and three references.

Please contact Dr. Christoph Bartneck ( for further questions.

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