SWOV researcher Vlakveld coauthored the article 'Blinded windows and empty driver seats: The effects of automated vehicle characteristics on cyclists’ decision-making' in 'IET Intelligent Transport Systems'.
Automated vehicles (AVs) may feature blinded (i.e. blacked-out) windows and external human–machine interfaces (eHMIs), and the driver may be inattentive or absent, but how these features affect cyclists is unknown. In a crowdsourcing study, participants viewed images of approaching vehicles from a cyclist’s perspective and decided whether to brake. The images depicted different combinations of traditional vehicles versus AVs, eHMI presence, vehicle approach direction, driver visibility/window-blinding, visual complexity of the surroundings, and distance to the cyclist (urgency).
The results showed that the eHMI and urgency level had a strong impact on crossing decisions, whereas visual complexity had no significant influence. Blinded windows caused participants to brake for the traditional vehicle.