Trust and Team Performance in Human–Autonomy Teaming

Nathan J. McNeese, Mustafa Demir, Erin K. Chiou, and Nancy J. Cooke
International Journal of Electronic Commerce,
Volume 25, Number 1, 2021, pp. 51-72.


This study aims to better understand trust in human–autonomy teams, finding that trust is important for team performance. A Wizard of Oz approach was used to simulate an autonomous agent team member, in a remotely piloted aircraft system research environment, to study the relationship between trust and team performance in human–autonomy teams. Results show that (1) there are lower levels of trust in the autonomous agent in low-performing teams compared with medium- or high-performing teams; (2) there is a loss of trust in the autonomous agent over time across low-, medium-, and high-performing teams; and (3) both low- and medium-performing teams indicated lower levels of trust in their human team members. These findings indicate that trust in a teammate (autonomous or human) is associated with team performance and that trust may evolve over time irrespective of team performance.