How do vulnerable road users evaluate automated vehicles in urban traffic? A focus group study with pedestrians, cyclists, e-scooter riders, older adults, and people with walking disabilities

Publikation: Beitrag in FachzeitschriftForschungsartikelBeigetragenBegutachtung



In today's urban traffic, vulnerable road users (VRUs) have a somewhat ambivalent relationship with human drivers. The introduction of automated vehicles (AVs) that are no longer controlled by such human drivers could impact this relationship, both in positive and negative ways. Five focus groups (pedestrians, cyclists, e-scooter riders, individuals with walking disabilities, and older adults) were conducted to investigate how different VRUs evaluate the participation of AVs in urban traffic and whether they hold specific requirements or concerns. The discussions focused on exploring potential interactions with AVs and the effects of mixed traffic scenarios (encompassing AVs and conventional vehicles (CVs)) on the well-being of VRUs in urban traffic. The results revealed that the concerns and expectations about AVs in urban traffic were quite similar among the various VRU groups. Regarding their interaction with AVs, participants expressed advantages (e.g., eliminating human errors) and disadvantages (e.g., lack of communication possibilities). In the context of mixed traffic, especially cyclists and individuals with walking disabilities feared aggressive behavior from CVs taking advantage of rule-abiding AVs. They also saw the risk of increasing complexity in mixed urban traffic, as AVs are likely to behave differently from CVs. In addition to the increased caution described by most VRUs, a few participants could imagine taking advantage of the defensive driving style of AVs. The cyclist group discussed the possibility of sabotaging AVs to make a general statement against cars in urban traffic. Furthermore, essential requirements were gathered for vehicle manufacturers (e.g., external Human-Machine Interfaces) and policies (e.g., stringent regulation enforcement for car traffic in the city) that could enable successful coexistence between VRUs and AVs in urban traffic.


Seiten (von - bis)59-71
FachzeitschriftTransportation Research Part F: Traffic Psychology and Behaviour
PublikationsstatusVeröffentlicht - Juli 2024

Externe IDs

ORCID /0000-0003-3162-9656/work/161409235


Ziele für nachhaltige Entwicklung


  • Automated vehicles, Focus groups, Mixed traffic, Sabotage, Urban traffic, Vulnerable road users