Autonomous Vehicles Drive into Shared Spaces: eHMI Design Concept Focusing on Vulnerable Road Users

Yang Li, Hao Cheng, Zhe Zeng, Hailong Liu, Monika Sester

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionAcademicpeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)
27 Downloads (Pure)


In comparison to conventional traffic designs, shared spaces promote a more pleasant urban environment with slower motorized movement, smoother traffic, and less congestion. In the foreseeable future, shared spaces will be populated with a mixture of autonomous vehicles (AVs) and vulnerable road users (VRUs) like pedestrians and cyclists. However, a driver-less AV lacks a way to communicate with the VRUs when they have to reach an agreement of a negotiation, which brings new challenges to the safety and smoothness of the
traffic. To find a feasible solution to integrating AVs seamlessly into shared-space traffic, we first identified the possible issues that the shared-space designs have not considered for the role of AVs. Then an online questionnaire was used to ask participants about how they would like a driver of the manually driving vehicle to communicate with VRUs in a shared space. We found that when the driver wanted to give some suggestions to the VRUs in a negotiation, participants thought that the communications via the driver’s body behaviors were necessary. Besides, when the driver conveyed information about her/his
intentions and cautions to the VRUs, participants selected different communication methods with respect to their transport modes (as a driver, pedestrian, or cyclist). These results suggest that novel eHMIs might be useful for AV-VRU communication when the original drivers are not present. Hence, a potential eHMI design concept was proposed for different VRUs to meet their various expectations. In the end, we further discussed the effects of the eHMIs on improving the sociality in shared spaces and the autonomous driving systems.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication2021 IEEE International Intelligent Transportation Systems Conference (ITSC)
Number of pages8
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-7281-9142-3
ISBN (Print)978-1-7281-9143-0
Publication statusPublished - 2021
Event24th IEEE International Intelligent Transportation Systems Conference, ITSC 2021 - Virtual Event, Indianapolis, United States
Duration: 19 Sept 202122 Sept 2021
Conference number: 24


Conference24th IEEE International Intelligent Transportation Systems Conference, ITSC 2021
Abbreviated titleITSC 2021
Country/TerritoryUnited States


  • 2023 OA procedure


Dive into the research topics of 'Autonomous Vehicles Drive into Shared Spaces: eHMI Design Concept Focusing on Vulnerable Road Users'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this