Evaluation work package gets underway

Work package 6 of the interACT project on evaluation got underway in October 2018. This work package will evaluate and assess the impact of the interaction strategies and communication methods developed during the project. A technical workshop involving all interACT partners was held in November in Abstatt, Germany, to discuss our approach to this work.
Our first task is to develop a methodology and framework for evaluating interactions between road users. The body of research around road user interactions, particularly interactions that may involve automated vehicles, has been growing rapidly. We are therefore currently reviewing existing literature to identify the pros and cons of methods used when studying road user interactions. We will combine this with what we have learned about methodologies from the range of studies and analysis already completed during the interACT project to develop an evaluation methods ‘catalogue’. Discussions held at relevant workshops (e.g. AutoUI 2018) will also contribute to the development of this catalogue. The catalogue will set out a range of evaluative tools we will use in different studies to evaluate our interaction systems and demonstrator vehicles. We will carry out interviews with experts and stakeholders from both research and industry to confirm whether we are using appropriate evaluation methods.
Once the evaluation framework has been established we will use it to assess the effects of our AV interaction systems on the behaviour and perceptions of road users. This will cover both on-board interactions between the AV and its user, and external interactions between the AV and pedestrians or other drivers. The evaluations will use field experiments as well as studies using cutting edge simulator facilities. We aim to start these evaluation studies in the second half of 2019.
The final stage of this work package is to translate the results from our evaluation work to assess what impact the interaction systems and strategies developed during the project may have within wider society. This will particularly involve assessment of impacts on road safety, traffic flow and city infrastructures in the future. This final impact assessment work will be complete by April 2020.