Safe interaction between cyclists, pedestrians and autonomous vehicles

From the point of view of cyclists and pedestrians, this study examines the interaction between these vulnerable road users and motorized 'smart' – and in the longer term – automated vehicles.

Crash statistics show that unsafety of cyclists (increasingly including e-bikes and other types of bikes) and pedestrians due to collisions with motorized traffic policies remains high, especially at intersections and when crossing the road. Therefore car manufacturers are working on safety systems can intervene in the pre-crash phase. How do pedestrians and cyclists know that they are dealing with such a 'smart', (either partly or fully) automated vehicle? History shows that expectations about the presence and behaviour of road users are of great importance for road safety. It must be taken into account that for a long period of time there will be a mixed system, where only part of the vehicles are 'smart ' which may cause the predictability and the feeling of security to lessen. If it is unclear for pedestrians and cyclists whether they are dealing with smart or automated vehicles and if, as a result, they show either very uncertain or very sure but unsafe behaviour in interaction situations, it will also be more difficult for automated vehicles to predict behavioural intentions of pedestrians and cyclists.  

Research questions

  1. On the basis of which features do pedestrians and cyclists recognize smart vehicles?
  2. What are their expectations about the (intended) behaviour of the vehicle based on?
  3. How do they at that time assess the consequences of the vehicle’s behaviour for their safety?


This project is a follow-up to the project SWOV worked on in 2016. In 2016, an initial pilot study was carried out to obtain a survey of the expectations, viewing behaviour, and behavioural choices of cyclists in the interaction with autonomous vehicles. In 2017, a follow-up experiment will be conducted in which not only cyclists, but also pedestrians will take part.

The project is carried out together with Delft University of Technology and collaboration is sought with national and international research projects in the field of vulnerable road users and autonomous vehicles.

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Start date: 01 Jan 2017
End date: 31 Dec 2017