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Journal Article


Uttley J, Lee YM, Madigan R, Merat N. Transp. Res. F Traffic Psychol. Behav. 2020; 72: 32-46.


(Copyright © 2020, Elsevier Publishing)






Appropriate communication between road users can lead to safe and efficient interactions in mixed traffic. Understanding how road users communicate can support the development of effective communication methods for automated vehicles. We carried out observations of 66 pedestrian-driver and 124 driver-driver interactions in a shared space setting. Specific actions and reactions of the road users involved were recorded using a novel observation protocol. Overall, results showed that pedestrians' failure to look towards a driver created the greatest uncertainty in the interaction, with the driver slowing down, but not completely stopping, in response to pedestrians. Looking towards the driver also influenced which road user took priority in driver-driver interactions. Groups of pedestrians were more likely to be given priority than an individual pedestrian, and the use of vehicle-based signals were also associated with taking priority during an interaction. Our observations show the importance of non-verbal communication during road user interactions, highlighting it as an essential area of research in the development of automated vehicles, to allow their safe, cooperative, interactions with other road users. Observations were made on a limited number of interactions to inform challenges facing future automated vehicles. Further work should therefore be done to corroborate and extend our findings, to examine interactions between human road users and automated vehicles in shared space settings.

Language: en


Automated vehicles; Drivers; Pedestrians; Priority; Road user interactions; Shared space


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