Vulnerable Road Users: How Can Automated Vehicle Systems Help to Keep Them Safe and Mobile?
For the first time in 2015, the Automated Vehicle Symposium featured a breakout session explicitly devoted to vulnerable road users (VRUs) and their use of and interactions with automated vehicles. A number of stakeholders, experts, and researchers from a variety of fields presented and discussed the state of current research and thought concerning the potential relationship of vulnerable road users and automated vehicles and how to maximize the benefits this novel technology might bring to these individuals. The topics included the role of design, various technological solutions, policies, and programs that could advance the safe mobility of VRUs in a future with an integrated fleet of automated vehicle systems. Through expert-led small group discussion, the breakout group produced a list of possible definitions for VRUs including pedestrians, cyclists, seniors (pedestrians as well as drivers), and identified key research gaps within the context of this multifaceted segment of the population. Some of these gaps related to motorcycle interactions, how different groups of VRUs will accept emerging AV technologies, and goals and solutions when considering how best to share limited roadway space across all road user constituencies.
KeywordsAging drivers Pedestrians Bicyclists Automated/autonomous surface vehicles Automated vehicle symposium Vulnerable road users Connected technologies Automated rules following Unintended consequences Privacy concerns Traffic flow Holistic inclusive platform Vision zero Road sharing
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