Examining Pedestrian-Autonomous Vehicle Interactions in Virtual Reality

Camara, Fanta, Dickenson, Patrick, Merat, Natasha and Fox, Charles (2020) Examining Pedestrian-Autonomous Vehicle Interactions in Virtual Reality. In: 8th Transport Research Arena TRA 2020, 27-30th April, 2020, Helsinki, Finland.

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Examining Pedestrian-Autonomous Vehicle Interactions in Virtual Reality

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Abstract

Autonomous vehicles now have well developed algorithms and open source software for localisation and
navigation in static environments but their future interactions with other road users in mixed traffic
environments, especially with pedestrians, raise some concerns. Pedestrian behaviour is complex to model and
unpredictable, thus creating a big challenge for self-driving cars. This paper examines pedestrian behaviour
during crossing scenarios with a game theoretic autonomous vehicle in virtual reality. In a first experiment, we
recorded participants’ trajectories and found that they were crossing more cautiously in VR than in previous
laboratory experiments. In two other experiments, we used a gradient descent approach to investigate
participants’ preference for a certain AV driving style. We found that the majority of them were not expecting the
car to stop in these scenarios. These results suggest that VR is an interesting tool for testing autonomous vehicle
algorithms and for finding out about pedestrian preferences.

Keywords:autonomous vehicles, transport, virtual reality, Self-driving cars, pedestrians
Subjects:H Engineering > H230 Transport Engineering
G Mathematical and Computer Sciences > G700 Artificial Intelligence
Divisions:College of Science > School of Computer Science
ID Code:40029
Deposited On:05 Feb 2020 16:11

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