Safe-D: Safety through Disruption

Impact of Automated Vehicle External Communication on Other Road User Behavior



Road users communicate with one another in various ways (e.g. hand gestures, eye contact). There is growing concern in the industry about whether highly automated vehicles (HAVs) will be able to communicate intent to other road users in the same ways, and to the same benefits, that a human can. The investigation of potential HAV external communication systems is underway by numerous stakeholders in many countries. There is a desire by many automotive original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) to adopt a common implementation across the automotive industry to prevent road user confusion of signal meaning and maintaining safety on the roadways. While some systems show promise, there remain design parameters that stakeholders cannot agree on and their implications are misunderstood (e.g. location on vehicle, color). This proposed research study will evaluate these HAV external communication design parameters in both static and dynamic settings and from a driver or pedestrian road user perspectives.

Project Highlights

Coming Soon!

Final Report

Coming Soon!

EWD & T2 Products

Coming Soon!


Coming Soon!

Research Investigators (PI*)

Charlie Klauer (VT-VTTI)*
Kevin Grove (VT-VTTI)
Andy Schaudt (VT-VTTI)
Alexandria I. Rossi-Alvarez (VTTI-Student)
Melissa Miles

Project Information

Start Date: 2020-03-01
End Date: 2022-08-22
Status: Active
Grant Number: 69A3551747115
Total Funding: $351,557
Source Organization: Safe-D National UTC
Project Number: VTTI-00-027

Safe-D Theme Areas

Automated Vehicles

Safe-D Application Areas

Vulnerable Users
Driver Factors and Interfaces
Vehicle Technology

More Information

UTC Project Information Form

Sponsor Organization

Office of the Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology
University Transportation Centers Program
Department of Transportation
Washington, DC 20590 United States

Performing Organization

Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
Virginia Tech Transportation Institute
3500 Transportation Research Plaza
Blacksburg, Virginia 24061