SAFER’s recently concluded pre-study “Virtual reality interactions with autonomous vehicles”, has developed into an approved FFI project; Advanced Virtual Development Methods for evaluating Communication of Automated Vehicles and Vulnerable Road Users. 

The initial SAFER pre-study project focused on using virtual reality to study interactions with connected and automated vehicles from the perspective of a vulnerable road user. The project was based in the newly established virtual reality hub on Traffic Safety at Lund University and aimed to explore how a VR environment can be used to study interactions between CAVs and VRUs.

In this follow-up project, the researchers will continue to investigate how external user interfaces can be used by connected self-driving vehicles to communicate their presence and intentions with unprotected road users. The goal is to secure reliable results from using virtual reality to efficiently represent multi-modal communication between automated vehicles and vulnerable road users.

The results of the project will support future rapid development of advanced communication systems both in terms of self-driving and manually driven vehicles. 

The project includes three work packages:
•    Work package 1 will provide an overview of existing solutions for communication with light and sound.
•    Work package 2 will study how tests with virtual realities should be performed both in terms of technical solutions and layout.
•    Work package 3 is a case study where conceptual user interfaces (based on WP1) are tested in a virtual reality (based on WP2).

The research team, which consists of researchers from Lund University and Volvo Group, expects to find some insight into the viability of using a virtual reality bicycle simulator in this context. Future projects might expand on such simulator's usefulness and how they fit into real- world development processes.
The project will end mid 2022 and will be hosted by SAFER’s research area for Road user behaviour.

Safer – Vehicle and Traffic Safety Centre

SAFER is the open research arena where researchers and expertise work together to create safe mobility. Our traffic safety approach covers people, vehicles and the infrastructure – and together we contribute to safer road transports and smarter, more sustainable cities.

Contact information


Lindholmspiren 3A
SE-417 56 Göteborg

 +46 31-772 21 06
 safer [at]