Transport and traffic scientists and psychologists at TU Dresden investigate user acceptance and human-technology interaction in the TEMPUS project.

When it comes to the future of automated and connected driving, research often focuses on technical developments in vehicles and infrastructure. Less attention has been paid so far to the users of these new technologies and the other road users involved. Will people in the future simply get into self-driving vehicles and be driven around with confidence? And how will other road users such as pedestrians, cyclists and non-automated and connected drivers interact with the state-of-the-art vehicles? These are the questions that traffic psychologists and traffic engineers from the "Friedrich List” Faculty of Traffic and Transport Sciences at the TU Dresden will be investigating over the next 30 months in the TEMPUS research project.

TEMPUS stands for “Testfeld München – Pilotversuch Urbaner automatisierter Straßenverkehr” ("Test Field Munich - Pilot Test Urban Automated Road Traffic"). For this purpose, a test field for automated and connected driving is being established in the north of the Bavarian capital Munich. An important milestone will be the actual use of automated vehicles in summer 2022. This will be preceded by a large number of technical developments and implementations in the coming months.

Goal: New forms of mobility in the urban context - safe and efficient

The aim of the project is to enable new forms of mobility in an urban context, thereby increasing and improving road safety and traffic flow for road users. To this end, the traffic infrastructure in the north of Munich is being converted and upgraded, among other things with "smart" road traffic technology and communicating traffic lights. The Mobility Department of the City of Munich is in charge of the project.

The scientists at the Institute of Transport Planning and Road Traffic, which is part of the Dresden Transport and Traffic Sciences, with the participating Chairs of Traffic and Transportation Psychology and of Integrated Transport Planning and Traffic Engineering, are focusing on people. Under the leadership of Dr. Jens Schade, they are investigating which conditions must be fulfilled for different target groups to accept automated vehicles. In addition, the Dresden traffic psychologists and engineers are investigating the interaction between non-networked and automated-networked road users. The person in charge of the project at TU Dresden, Dr. Jens Schade, says: "We hope to gain valuable insights into how we can make future encounters between non-motorised humans and moving machines in complex urban traffic safer, smoother and more pleasant.

Use of different scientific methods

Previous studies on communication and interaction with autonomous vehicles mostly assume a healthy, adult human as the interaction partner the new technology. The requirements of particularly vulnerable social groups such as children and elderly or mobility-impaired people for future intelligent transport systems have been virtually ignored. The question of how citizens envisage future intelligent transport systems and how autonomous vehicles can be integrated into urban traffic from their point of view has also remained largely unanswered.

The Dresden scientists are now investigating these questions in more detail using various methods such as surveys, focus group discussions and workshops as well as on-site observations and interviews.

Contact person at TU Dresden for the project

Project partners and funding

The TEMPUS project is funded by the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure for 30 months with around 12 million euros until summer 2023. In addition to the Institute for Transport Planning and Road Traffic at TU Dresden, the following project partners from administration, research, business and industry are involved in the project:

- City of Munich

- 3D Mapping Solutions GmbH

- BMW Group

- EBUSCO Germany GmbH

- Free State of Bavaria - Bavarian State Building Administration represented by the

- Bavarian State Building Directorate

- Karlsruhe Institute of Technology: ITIV - Institute for Information Processing Technology

- PTV Planung Transport Verkehr AG

- Siemens Mobility GmbH

- Stadtwerke München

- Traffic Consultants GmbH: Trafficon

- TTS Europe GmbH

- Chair of Traffic Engineering at the Technical University of Munich

- United Parcel Service: UPS

We hope to gain valuable insights into how we can make future encounters between non-motorised humans and moving machines in complex urban traffic safer, smoother and more pleasant.

Dr. Jens Schade, TEMPUS Project Manager TU Dresden