A Research Platform for Singapore

Usability Tests for Human-Machine Interfaces in Virtual Reality


Usability tests are conducted by DAM in order to investigate the communication between AVs and pedestrians in ambiguous situations like for instance at a zebra crossing. Since such usability tests would lead to challenges like lack of feasibility and safety under real-life conditions, the tests are conducted in Virtual Reality. Within the tests, the participants have the task to cross a one-way street via a zebra crossing. While doing so, an AV approaches repeatedly with various explicit Human-Machine Interfaces (HMI) concepts with information about the AVs’ driving behaviours to the participants either via a display attached to the AV or via laser projections on the road or sidewalk.


The results show that explicit HMI concepts reduce decision times of pedestrians before crossing the roads as well as error rates. Qualitative data collection showed that the satisfaction of the participants was higher with an HMI on the vehicle than without. Lastly, the usability tests revealed that, in contrast to laser projections, display-based HMI concepts resulted in shorter decision time and less errors for crossing the road.


DAM is conducting further tests in Virtual Reality in order to investigate for example if participants’ previous experience in gaming has an influence in their behaviours in VR.



Stadler, S., Cornet, H., Novaes Theoto, T. and Frenkler, F. (2019) ‘A Tool, not a Toy: Using Virtual Reality to Evaluate the Communication Between Autonomous Vehicles and Pedestrians’, in tom Dieck, M. C. and Jung, T. H. (eds) Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality. Springer Nature Switzerland AG. doi: 10.1007/978-3-030-06246-0_15.


Stadler, S., Cornet, H., and Frenkler, F. (2019) ‘Towards User Acceptance of Autonomous Vehicles: A Virtual reality Study on Human-Machine Interfaces’ in International Journal of Technology Marketing. (in publication)


Contact person: Sebastian.Stadler@tum-create.edu.sg