Workshop: Mixed Traffic

Workshop on Safety of Road Users in Mixed Traffic (Different Levels of Vehicle Automation) and Implications for Road Design

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.