Partially and fully automated vehicles (AVs) are being developed and tested in different countries. These vehicles are being designed to reduce and ultimately eliminate the role of human drivers in the future. Most fatal accidents of vulnerable road users (VRUs), pedestrians, cyclists and mopeds, involve a motorized vehicle. In addition, most of the accidents involving VRUs and motorized vehicles happen at road crossings. By replacing human-driven vehicles with automated vehicles, the human role will be altered and reduced which could lead to an increase in traffic safety. However, drivers are not the only ones who will have to adapt to automated vehicles, other road users, such as pedestrians and cyclists, will have to interact with vehicles with various levels of automation, too. Pedestrians and cyclists will still be humans and might behave in an unpredictable manner which could lead to unsafe behaviors. The main goal of this paper is to propose a theoretical framework which describes the interactions between automated vehicles and road user behavior under different road design conditions. This is a prerequisite to understand how to design safe urban environments where VRUs and automated vehicles can interact safely. A synthesis of the existing literature about the interactions between automated vehicles and VRUs, and the main factors that could influence VRUs’ behavior is presented. The results of the synthesis and the identified knowledge gaps are discussed. Based on this, a theoretical framework for the interactions between VRUs and automated vehicles is developed and discussed.
Interactions between vulnerable road users and automated vehicles
A synthesis of literature and framework for future research
Proceedings of the Road Safety and Simulation International Conference
The Hague, The Netherlands
20220015 ST [electronic version only]
17-19 October 2017