Exploration of Factors Impacting the Successful Adoption of External Vehicle Interfaces

Researchers, auto manufacturers, technologists and governmental agencies have expressed concern that vehicle automation may necessitate the introduction of added displays to indicate vehicle intent in vehicle-to-pedestrian interactions. Displays of various types have been demonstrated on prototype systems with limited specification around the need of road users. In short, a number of foundational questions around the non-verbal communication of drivers and pedestrians need to be answered to best assess the need for new external vehicle interfaces and if so, how to develop interfaces that enhance communication. For instance, many people appear to believe that in traditional non-automated vehicle-to-pedestrian interactions, pedestrians make eye contact with drivers as a key part of their crossing decisions. However, the degree to which pedestrians can effectively interpret driver’s attentional orientation at the ranges needed to inform non-signaled crossing decisions is an open question. In essence, is seeing a driver or their eye orientation in approaching vehicle a critical signal? This research will explore this question through a set of crowdsourced experiments that considers through the use of high resolution static imagery and the ability to perceive a drivers’ presence in a car under different lighting conditions and ranges. In summary, this work aims to begin to develop a deeper understanding of the role of eye contact in crossing decisions.


  • English


  • Status: Active
  • Funding: $150000
  • Contract Numbers:


    Project MITR25-54

  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Office of the Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology

    University Transportation Centers Program
    Department of Transportation
    Washington, DC  United States  20590
  • Managing Organizations:

    New England University Transportation Center

    Massachusetts Institute of Technology
    77 Massachusetts Avenue, Room 40-279
    Cambridge, MA  United States  01239
  • Project Managers:

    Coughlin, Joseph

  • Performing Organizations:

    Massachusetts Institute of Technology

    77 Massachusetts Avenue
    Cambridge, MA  United States  02139
  • Principal Investigators:

    Reimer, Bryan

  • Start Date: 20180901
  • Expected Completion Date: 20190630
  • Actual Completion Date: 0

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01707485
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: New England University Transportation Center
  • Contract Numbers: DTRT13-G-UTC13, Project MITR25-54
  • Files: UTC, RiP
  • Created Date: Jun 3 2019 1:17PM