The Driver in the Driverless Car: Simulating Vehicle Automation for Evaluation of Driver Behavior and Performance


Anuj Pradhan, PhD
Assistant Research Scientist, Human Factors Group, U-M Transportation Research Institute


May 2014 – April 2016


C. Raymond Bingham, PhD
Research Professor, Psychiatry, School of Medicine; Health Behavior and Health Education, School of Public Health; and head of the Young Driver Behavior and Injury Prevention Group, U-M Transportation Research Institute

Ryan Eustice, PhD
Associate Professor, Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering and Computer Science, and Mechanical Engineering, U-M Transportation Research Institute

John Sullivan, PhD
Associate Research Scientist, Head, Human Factors Group, U-M Transportation Research Institute


The development of an experimental driving simulation platform to enable research studies to gather evidence and increase the scientific understanding of the relevant issues related to vehicle automation.  The studies will examine driver performance, attention, and emotional state at different levels of automation.


Build a driving simulation platform in which various safety-control functions will occur without driver input depending on the levels of automation.

Two Phases:

  1. Build a driving simulation platform with automated driving capabilities.
  2. Examine fundamental human factors research questions through a series of experiments conducted with the simulator.


The research will inform the design of AVs and their driver interfaces, as well as improve understanding of the basic issues of expectation, trust, acceptance, and performance, which will make a significant contribution to community wide deployment efforts.