Workshop: External Communication Techniques

External communication techniques for automated vehicles interacting with other road users in mixed traffic

Research questions

What information do cyclists, pedestrians, and drivers of manually controlled vehicles need in order to interact safely with Automated Vehicles (AVs)? What are the implications of these interactions on on safety? How does the communication between AVs and other road users influence the design of roads in our future cities? How will this information be used to design suitable simulator-based studies and can simulators help answer these questions?

Understanding VRU interactions with Automated Vehicles

As the number of automated systems in vehicles increases, and the responsibility of vehicle manoeuvring and control moves from the human driver to the AV, we enter a new era where interaction of the AV with other road users will be managed by the vehicle and its computers, and traditional means of communication such as eye contact and hand gestures will no longer be possible. The question in how this then affects VRU interactions with AVs and whether and how we can design suitable studies to test suitable research questions.

Interactive session on interactions with AVs

The aim of this interactive workshop is to investigate what information pedestrians, bicyclists, and drivers of manually controlled vehicles use to interact with each other in a mixed traffic environment, in order to inform on appropriate means of cooperation and interaction between these actors and automated vehicles (AVs).

This workshop will outline a number of relevant scenarios for discussion, and include presentations from recent studies in this area. Workshop participants will be encouraged to contribute to the discussions and provide their thoughts on how such communications are likely to influence the design of roads in our future cities. Participants will also be invited to provide their thoughts on the best methods for studying the interaction of AVs with VRUs, and will be invited to think about the most suitable and successful communication methods and tools.

Lessons learned

Data from recent projects, such as those collected in CityMobil2 will be shared and you will have the chance to consider how simulators may be used to study this area further.

What’s in it for me

In this workshop you will learn about the methodologies and tools that can be effectively used to collect useful data and study these interactions, the results reached in previous studies, and the most promising direction and methods needed for future research.


Prof. dr. Natasha Merat is an experimental psychologist and research group leader of the Human Factors and Safety Group, Institute for Transport Studies, University of Leeds. Her main research interests involve understanding the interaction of road users with new technologies. She applies this interest to studying factors such as driver distraction and driver impairment, and she is an expert in studying the human factors implications of highly automated vehicles. She is currently involved in two main European Projects on automated vehicles. In the AdaptIVe project, she is studying drivers’ ability to resume control from automation in critical situations and investigating how this transition is achieved quickly and safely. For CityMobil2, Natasha is investigating pedestrians’ perceptions and views of fully automated low speed vehicles, which were demonstrated in a number of European Cities. She is Chair of the TRB sub-committee on Human Factors in Road Vehicle Automation, and has appointments as expert advisor to the European Commission, AutoLiv Inc and the UK Department for Transport Committee on Connected and Automated Transport. She has also been guest editor of two journal publications in recent years (Human Factors Journal 2012, and Transportation Research Part F, 2014), bringing together the latest results of studies from around the globe on how vehicle automation may affect driver behaviour and performance.


André Dietrich graduated in aerospace engineering at the Technical University of Munich with emphases on aviation and flight propulsion. As a research assistant he became acquainted with the Chair of Ergonomics, where he was able to incorporate his knowledge and interest in computational simulations by developing the pedestrian simulator. He is currently a research associate and doctoral candidate at the Chair of Ergonomics since March 2015. His research is focused on pedestrian crossing behavior and the impact of automated vehicles on pedestrian‐vehicle interactions using virtual reality simulators.
Ruth Madigan is a postdoctoral research fellow at ITS Leeds, working on the human factors of vehicle automation. Ruth completed her PhD on “Learning to drive: From hazard detection to hazard handling”, at University College Cork, in 2014 and has been working in ITS since July 2015. Ruth has worked on the European projects AdatpIVE and CityMobil2, where she considered user acceptance of low speed Automated Road Transport Systems, using a questionnaire study, for the latter. She is currently working on the recently awarded H2020 InterACT project, where she is looking at design guidelines for external communication of automated vehicles with other road users.
Sina Nordhoff did her master thesis on user acceptance of Google’s self-driving car at the Society and Technology Research Group of the Daimler AG in Berlin, where she worked as working student from June 2013 to August 2014. She is currently doing her PhD at the Delft University of Technology in joint cooperation with the InnoZ on user acceptance of automated public transport systems. In her first paper, which was presented at the Transportation Research Board 95th Annual Meeting in Washington D.C., she developed a conceptual model -the 4P Acceptance Model- to explain, predict and improve user acceptance of automated vehicles used in public transport. In the two studies that followed thereafter, the 4P Acceptance Model was empirically validated by questionnaire data involving 10001 respondents worldwide, using structural equation modelling analysis. She is currently collaborating with academics at ITS Leeds, working on video data from the CityMobil2 project to investigate the interactions between automated vehicle and other road users. At the InnoZ in Berlin, she is leading the user acceptance research, involving an automated vehicle from the U.S. based start-up Local Motors.
Gustav Markkula is an Associate Professor at ITS Leeds, leading the Programme for Simulation project, funded by Jaguar Land Rover and the UK EPSRC. Prior to joining ITS, Gustav was at Volvo AB for over 10 years, where, amongst other things, he coordinated the European AIDE project. Gustav’s research interests include Driver behaviour, Perception and sensorimotor control, Mathematical modelling, Vehicle safety and Virtual testing. Gustav is currently also involved in the recently awarded H2020 InterACT project, where he is considering he is using models of human decision making for studying the impact of automated vehicles in their interaction with other road users.
Dipl.-Ing. (FH) Lennart Bendewald is Head of HMI for Head of “HMI for Augmented Reality and Driving” at Volkswagen Group Research – Wolfsburg. His areas of interest include HMI concepts for Augmented Reality and HMI concepts for automated driving scenarios. Between 2001 and 2006, Lennart studied Vehicle Informatics at the University for Applied Sciences Braunschweig/Wolfenbüttel.
Prof.dr. Marieke Martens is professor in ITS and Human Factors at the University of Twente and TNO Human Factors. Her main focus is on how road users interact with new technologies and various levels of automated vehicles. She currently supervises various PhD students in the topic of driver trust of automated functions, Human Machine Interaction and also pedestrian’s response to automated vehicles. She is involved in Transition of Control projects for truck platooning, and works on personalizing driver support systems to increase road safety, trust and comfort and decrease automation surprise.
Tanja Fuest is a research associate at the Chair of Ergonomics at the Technical University of Munich. She wrote her master thesis in Engineering and Traffic Psychology at the TU Braunschweig in collaboration with the automotive industry. Her current research focuses on the interaction between highly automated vehicles and human road users in mixed traffic environments. An important part of her PhD thesis concentrates on testing and validating methods to measure the influence of different communication strategies of automated vehicles on human road users.
Anna Schieben received her diploma degree in Psychology at the Technical University of Braunschweig in 2005. Since then, she works at the Institute of Transportation System at DLR, now as Senior Scientist. She is leading a team of six researchers on Human-Machine interaction since 2013. Her main research interests are the development of user-friendly, easy-to-use and safe interaction design for AVs with a specific focus on design for transitions of control between different automation levels and interaction needs of other road users. Anna Schieben is coordinating the EU Horizon 2020 project interACT, a project on designing cooperative interaction of AVs with other road users in mixed traffic environments (run time 2017-2020). Before that she was involved as a researcher and WP leader in several national and European projects in this area such as HaveIt, interactIVe, AdaptIVe and CityMobil 1 and 2. To increase the awareness for Human Factors research needs and user-centric design she is actively participating in several network activities such as the US-Japan-EU Trilateral working group on Human Factors for AVs, the ERTICO iMobility Forum and the EU CARTRE project and has published more than 30 papers in journals and on conferences in the area of HMI design for AV.
Prof.dr. Marjan Hagenzieker is full professor and chair Traffic Safety at Delft University of Technology since 2014. She is also Scientific Advisor at SWOV Institute for Road Safety Research. She graduated in experimental psychology and received her Doctorate (PhD) at Leiden University. Her research and education focus on the road safety effects of the transport system, with particular interest in road user behaviour aspects. She is member of several Editorial Boards of academic journals, including Transportation Research Part F: Traffic Psychology and Behaviour, and Safety Science; and was guest editor of special issues on different road safety topics. Her current research particularly focuses on how to ensure road safety in modern urban environments with many different kinds of road users and divergent interests. Specific research expertise includes road user interactions with road infrastructure, in-vehicle technology, and automated vehicles; distraction in traffic; and safety of vulnerable road users (e.g. older road users, cyclists). She is co-applicant of two ongoing research projects on the road safety impacts of automated driving, the role of human drivers and non-automated road users in the traffic system of the future, and with special interest in the perspective of cyclists and pedestrians and their interaction with (partially and fully) automated vehicles – both projects are funded by the Dutch research organization NWO.