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AV-Pedestrian Interaction Design Using a Pedestrian Mixed Traffic Simulator

AV-pedestrian interaction will impact pedestrian safety, etiquette, and overall acceptance of AV technology. Evalu-ating AV-pedestrian interaction is challenging given lim-ited availability of AVs and safety concerns. These chal-lenges are compounded by “mixed traffic” conditions: studying AV-pedestrian interaction will be difficult in traf-fic consisting of vehicles varying in autonomy level. We propose immersive pedestrian simulators as design tools to study AV-pedestrian interaction, allowing rapid prototyp-ing and evaluation of future AV-pedestrian interfaces. We present OnFoot: a VR-based simulator that immerses par-ticipants in mixed traffic conditions and allows examina-tion of their behavior while controlling vehicles’ autono-my-level, traffic and street characteristics, behavior of other virtual pedestrians, and integration of novel AV-pedestrian interfaces. We validated OnFoot against prior simulators and Wizard-of-Oz studies, and conducted a user study, manipulating vehicles’ autonomy level, interfaces, and pedestrian group behavior. Our findings highlight the potential to use VR simulators as powerful tools for AV-pedestrian interaction design in mixed traffic.

Mahadevan, K, Sanoubari, E, Somanath, S, Young, JE, Sharlin, E. “AV-Pedestrian Interaction Design Using a Pedestrian Mixed Traffic Simulator”, Proc. ACM conference on Designing Interactive Systems, 2019. 

Authors

Elaheh Sanoubari

Elaheh Sanoubari

PhD Student
James E.Young

James E.Young

Associate Professor

As well as: Karthik Mahadevan, Sowmya Somanath and Ehud Sharlin