The National Academies

Transit IDEA J-04/IDEA 98 [Active (IDEA)]

Safety Assessment of the Interaction Between the Autonomous Shuttle Bus and Vulnerable Road Users

  Project Data
Funds: $100,000
Staff Responsibility: Velvet Fitzpatrick
Research Agency: Florida State University
Principal Investigator: Sungmoon Jung
Fiscal Year: 2020

As the use of the automated shuttle bus (ASB) continues to increase, there is a need for investigating the safety of vulnerable road users (VRUs) such as pedestrians, bicyclists, and motorcyclists. The objective of this project is to investigate crash risk associated with ASB-VRU interactions and identify the effects of the important parameters to improve safety.

Computer-based simulations will be used to analyze the safety performance of ASBs and its interaction with pedestrians and bicyclists for real-world roadways. The combination of extensive simulations and use case (provided by industry partner) will identify the high-risk scenarios and address the safety of VRUs according to the NHTSA recommendations. Finally, for the unavoidable crash scenarios, the details of injury will be quantified using high fidelity human models.

This project will conduct a risk assessment of ASB-VRU interactions, and provide recommendations supporting the ASBs’ safe operation. The safety framework for the ASB-VRU interactions will be provided to assist agencies, developers, and policymakers to make informed decisions and minimize the risk of the road users. The results of this project will be disseminated to stakeholders (e.g., manufacturers, transit agencies, and public) via free webinars. One of the challenges in wider adoption of the ASB is the safety concerns. By providing objective information and improving the safety, this project will contribute to the growth of the ASB industry.


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