Breakout 13: Challenges and Opportunities for the Intersection of Vulnerable Road Users (VRU) and AV

Breakout 13: Challenges and Opportunities for the Intersection of Vulnerable Road Users (VRU) and AVs

Tuesday, July 11, 1:30 PM – 5:30 PM
Continental 9


  • Justin M. Owens, Virginia Tech Transportation Institute
  • Laura Sandt, University of North Carolina Highway Safety Research Center


The primary goals of the session is to raise awareness of the safety and mobility needs of physically vulnerable road users (e.g., pedestrians, bicyclists, and people with disabilities) as they share roadways with partially and highly automated vehicles (HAVs). This is crucial to the safe and accepted development of HAV systems, as it will encourage roadway designers, AV developers, and policy makers to consider the needs of the entire traveling population. We will discuss existing, ongoing, and needed research to improve safety for VRUs when interacting with AVs, with a particular focus on technological issues, and we will generate discussion about technical and policy barriers and opportunities to enhance VRU safety and mobility as they interact with AVs.


1:30 PM – 2:30 PM Vulnerable Road User Safety Needs and Concerns
Moderator – Laura Sandt, UNC Highway Safety Research Center

Introduction to Session and Overview of AV/VRU Research

  • Laura Sandt, UNC Highway Safety Research Center

Key Human Factors Challenges and Opportunities within AV/VRU Interactions

  • Justin Owens, Virginia Tech Transportation Institute

Reconstruction of Vehicle-Pedestrian Collisions: Powerful Data to Inform the Design of Automation and Active Safety Systems

  • Justin Morgan, Forensic Engineering Technologies

Needs and Challenges of Pedestrians with Disabilities with Respect to Automated Vehicles

  • Sudharson Sundararajan, Booz Allen Hamilton

2:30 PM – 3:15 PM Panel Discussion

3:15 PM – 4:15 PM Technology, Infrastructure, and Policy Considerations
Moderator – Michael Clamann, Duke University Humans and Autonomy Lab

AutonoVi: A General Purpose Simulator to Evaluate Driving and Navigation Strategies of Autonomous Vehicles

  • Dinesh Manocha, University of North Carolina, Computer Sciences Department

Bystander Interaction with Autonomous Vehicles and Robots

  • Aaron Steinfeld, Carnegie Mellon University

Urban Form and Automated Flows - The Prospect of Automation in Transportation for Future City Form

  • Tanvi Maheshwari, Future Cities Laboratory, Singapore

4:15 PM – 4:45 PM Panel Discussion

4:45 PM – 5:20 PM General/Research Needs Discussion

5:20 PM – 5:30 PM Wrap Up and Next Steps

Breakout 13 / 25