What driving style makes pedestrians think a passing vehicle is driving automatically?

Pavlo Bazilinskyy*, Tsuyoshi Sakuma, Joost de Winter

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)
16 Downloads (Pure)


An important question in the development of automated vehicles (AVs) is which driving style AVs should adopt and how other road users perceive them. The current study aimed to determine which AV behaviours contribute to pedestrians' judgements as to whether the vehicle is driving manually or automatically as well as judgements of likeability. We tested five target trajectories of an AV in curves: playback manual driving, two stereotypical automated driving conditions (road centre tendency, lane centre tendency), and two stereotypical manual driving conditions, which slowed down for curves and cut curves. In addition, four braking patterns for approaching a zebra crossing were tested: manual braking, stereotypical automated driving (fixed deceleration), and two variations of stereotypical manual driving (sudden stop, crawling forward). The AV was observed by 24 participants standing on the curb of the road in groups. After each passing of the AV, participants rated whether the car was driven manually or automatically, and the degree to which they liked the AV's behaviour. Results showed that the playback manual trajectory was considered more manual than the other trajectory conditions. The stereotype automated ‘road centre tendency’ and ‘lane centre tendency’ trajectories received similar likeability ratings as the playback manual driving. An analysis of written comments showed that curve cutting was a reason to believe the car is driving manually, whereas driving at a constant speed or in the centre was associated with automated driving. The sudden stop was the least likeable way to decelerate, but there was no consensus on whether this behaviour was manual or automated. It is concluded that AVs do not have to drive like a human in order to be liked.

Original languageEnglish
Article number103428
Number of pages13
JournalApplied Ergonomics
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • Automated driving
  • Deceleration
  • Human-like driving
  • Manual driving
  • Pedestrians
  • Trajectory


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