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The Automated Driver as a New Road User

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Publication: Transport Reviews
Pages: 23-Jan
Publication Date: 2020

Although road infrastructure has been designed to accommodate human drivers’ physiology and psychology for over a century, human error has always been the main cause of traffic accidents. Consequently, Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) have been developed to mitigate human shortcomings. These automated functions are becoming more sophisticated allowing for Automated Driving Systems (ADS) to drive under an increasing number of road conditions. Due to this evolution, a new automated road user has become increasingly relevant for both road owners and the vehicle industry alike. While this automated driver is currently operating on roads designed for human drivers, in the future, infrastructure policies may be designed specifically to accommodate automated drivers. However, the current literature on ADSs does not cover all driving processes. A unified framework for human and automated driver, covering all driving processes, is therefore presented. The unified driving framework, based on theoretical models of human driving and robotics, highlights the importance of sensory input in all driving processes. How human and automated drivers sense their environment is therefore compared to uncover differences between the two road users relevant to adapt road design and maintenance to include the automated driver. The main differences identified between human and automated drivers are that (1) the automated driver has a much greater range of electromagnetic sensitivity and larger field of view, and (2) that the two road users interpret sensory input in different ways. Based on these findings, future research directions for road design and maintenance are suggested.

Authors: Dr. Ed McCormack, Ane Dalsnes Storsaeter, Kelly Pitera
Recommended Citation:
Storsæter, A. D., Pitera, K., & McCormack, E. D. (2020). The automated driver as a new road user. Transport Reviews, 1–23.