One Solution Fits All? Evaluating Different Communication Strategies of a Light-based External Human-Machine Interface for Differently Sized Automated Vehicles from a Pedestrian’s Perspective

On: 8. April 2022
In: #HMI@DLR, #HMIatDLR, Automotive, eHMI, Traffic Psychology
Views: 34
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Differently sized automated vehicles (AVs) will enter the roads of tomorrow and will interact with other road users. Pedestrians as vulnerable road users heavily rely on the communication with other road users, especially for the interaction with larger vehicles, as miscommunication pose a high risk. Therefore, AVs need to provide communication abilities to safely interact with pedestrians. This study’s focus was on the explicit communication which is highly relevant in low-speed and low-distance traffic scenarios to clarify misunderstandings before they result in accidents. External human-machine interfaces (eHMIs) placed on the outside of AVs can be used as a communication tool to explicitly inform the surrounding traffic environment. Although research manifested effects of vehicle size on pedestrians’ perceived safety and crossing behavior, little research about the eHMI design for differently sized AVs exists. This experimental online study (N = 155) aimed at investigating the application of a light-based eHMI on two differently sized AVs (car, bus) by focusing on the overall goal of ensuring traffic safety in future traffic. The light-based eHMI showed different communication strategies, i.e., a static eHMI and three dynamic eHMIs. The results revealed that an automated car was perceived as safer and affectively rated as more positive compared to an automated bus. Nevertheless, no significant differences were found between the two AVs in terms of the eHMI communication. A dynamic eHMI was perceived as safer and evaluated affectively as more positive compared to a static eHMI or no eHMI for both AVs. In conclusion, the use of a light-based eHMI had a positive effect on pedestrians’ interaction with an automated car and an automated bus and, therefore, could contribute to the overall traffic safety in this study. Implications for the design of eHMIs for differently sized AVs were discussed.

Lau, M., Jipp, M., & Oehl, M. (2022). One Solution Fits All? Evaluating Different Communication Strategies of a Light-based External Human-Machine Interface for Differently Sized Automated Vehicles from a Pedestrian’s Perspective. Accident Analysis & Prevention, 171. DOI: 10.1016/j.aap.2022.106641

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