Shuchisnigdha Deb, Ph.D.
Assistant Research Professor
Mississippi State University
Title: Pedestrian Safety and Their Interaction with Fully Autonomous Vehicles
Abstract: Motor vehicle-related traffic injury is a major cause of death in the United States for pedestrians. In most of the traffic collisions (94%), the human-driver error was found to be the leading cause. In order to minimize human error, transportation researchers and vehicle manufacturers have been working toward introducing fully autonomous vehicle (FAV) to replace human drivers. Since FAVs will be operated by software and hardware, with no human driver required, interactions between other road-users and FAVs must be understood and potential risks must be addressed before we allow them on the road. This is especially true for pedestrians, who often exhibit unpredictable behavior and are one of the most vulnerable road-user groups. A comprehensive review of the existing literature on pedestrian and FAVs interaction identified several research gaps: (1) lack of tools to study pedestrian receptivity of FAVs (2) lack of a platform to study pedestrian interaction with FAVs, and (3) need for communicating interfaces to support pedestrian-FAV interaction. This presentation discusses the research outcomes addressing these gaps.