Perceived Comfort and Safety of Road Users in Real-World Interactions with Autonomous Vehicles

Autonomous vehicle (AV) technology is advancing rapidly, but important questions remain about how non-automated road users (pedestrians, cyclists, drivers) will interact with AV in real-world settings.

This research addresses the questions: Do other road users operate differently when interacting with AV, and are those interactions perceived as comfortable and safe? We will address these questions using an autonomous shuttle pilot project being undertaken at the University of British Columbia.

We will collect and analyse video data of road user interactions with the AV, and also collect data on perceptions of comfort and safety using intercept and web surveys. Analysis of these data will reveal how vehicle autonomy affects the travel experience of other road users, both combined with and independent of the distinct operational features of AV interactions, and mediated by traveler characteristics.

The UBC pilot project provides a unique opportunity to inform strategies for the responsible introduction of AV in Metro Vancouver and beyond.