Research accomplished in the framework of connected automated vehicles in the first year of SUaaVE project

SUaaVE is a H2020 project funded by the European Union aiming to enhance the public acceptance of highly connected automated vehicles (CAVs) by increasing trustworthiness via Human-Driven Design, including the participation of all road users as well as stakeholders. In April, SUaaVE has reached its first 12 months achieving relevant breakthroughs in its different research topics.

In the research about acceptance, a set of focus groups (led by RuG and conducted by CRF, IFSTTAR, VEDECOM and IBV) has been performed to identify the relevant psychological factors that influence the user acceptance in CAVs. A diversity of relevant road-users was involved aiming to make it representative (drivers, non-drivers, pedestrians, cyclists). These focus groups were carried out in different EU countries (Spain, Italy, and France) to analyse cultural differences. More than 50 people have participated in this research.

Furthermore, a large survey has been conducted in different countries (France, Germany, UK, Italy, Spain and The Netherlands), led by RuG, to analyse and verify the main factors that influence acceptance in CAVs, validating the results obtained in the focus groups. 3900 European citizens have participated in this survey.

Figure 1 . Countries that have participated in the large-scale survey in SUaaVE.

As regards to research in ethics, different interviews have been carried out by VEDECOM with experts in robotics, laws, human factors experts, sociologists and urban planners in order to analyse ethics in CAVs. In addition, it has been conducted focus groups with different road users (including people with disabilities) to identify their opinions and feelings reflecting their perceptions and attitudes, which may constitute drivers or barriers to the acceptance of CAV for ethical concerns.

Concerning the research to understand the passenger’s emotional and cognitive state during the trip, IBV has developed the Emotional Model composed by a Categorical Model (based on the analysis of contextual factors that influence the trip experience on board) and a Dimensional Model (the estimation of the emotional state of the passenger based on the parameters arousal and valence obtained from physiological signals from the passengers in the vehicle). Furthermore, BORDEAUX INP has designed a Cognitive Model to determine the cognitive states of the user in any situation in real time, with a significant impact on the user experience of the vehicle. Finally, TUM is working on the Observation Model, aimed to anticipate the passenger state. It will emulate the input-output dynamic map from external stimuli (road conditions, driving behavior), to resulting human emotional and cognitive state.

Figure 2 . Scheme of the different developments in SUaaVE to understand the passenger’s state.

Regarding the control strategies tackled in SUaaVE for the management of CAV behaviour to enhance trip user experience on-board, Bordeaux INP has designed a first interface prototype of a smart cognitive assistant aiming to provide the user with information on the traffic situation, the car’s behaviour, and the way it adapts to the passenger. Furthermore, IDIADA has developed a set of models for ambient comfort in the framework of CAVs, covering thermal comfort, acoustic comfort, visual comfort and postural comfort. Additionally, IDIADA has made great progress in motion comfort research, aiming to study the relationship between the passenger perception of the dynamic comfort and the way that the autonomous driving algorithms plans and executes a vehicle trajectory.

Figure 3 . Interface prototype of a smart cognitive assistant that informs the passenger about the main information processed by an automated vehicle. © Tous droits réservés/All rights reserved – Benjamin CHATEAU – CATIE – SUaaVE project – 2020.

At this stage of the project, CIVITEC has released the first version of the Immersive Virtual Human Centred Design (V-HCD) platform, a 3D virtual simulation environment for urban and highway road context. This platform will be used to adjust and validate the different developments in SUaaVE in the first loop of tests with subjects (to be carried out from April to October 2020). In this regard, IDIADA has led, with the participation of the rest of partners involved, the definition of the different methodologies that will be used for the evaluations of all the aspects involved in the project, specially covering the assessment of acceptance of the different developments.

Figure 4 . IDIADA DiM 250 dynamic simulator. The simulator will be used in the first loop for testing with subjects motion comfort.

SUaaVE is coordinated by the Institute of Biomechanics of Valencia (IBV). The consortium of the project is composed by a combination of research institutions (RUG, VED, IFSTTAR, CRF, TUM, BORDEAUX INP and IBV) and industrial and market partners (IDIADA, CVT and FICOSA group represented by AAA) oriented to Social Science, Human Factors Engineering, and Technical Engineering.

SUaaVE is funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program under grant agreement No. 814999.

For more information of the project, see Follow us on Twitter @SUaaVE_project


First Milestone of the project, reached: SUaaVE frameworks and ALFRED use cases defined.

The first months of SUaaVE have mainly consisted in the formulation of different requirements and frameworks for the developments and research activities to be carried out in the next stages of the project.

One of the partial results, already obtained and available on project website (, has been the identification of the main social psychological factors that influence the Connected and Autonomous Vehicles (CAV) acceptance.

The work carried out regarding the ethical, legal and social challenges of artificial intelligence, will be the basis for the focus groups on the public opinion in these areas. The ethical decision-making algorithms for automated systems have been also studied.

In order to monitor and interpret the passenger state based on the cognitive state and emotional response in next steps of the project, SUaaVE partners have defined the empathic module framework. In addition, we have outlined the observer tool, which will serve to anticipate the passenger state not only detecting their responses, but combining categorical and dimensional approach.

We have also obtained “a new smart and multimodal Human Machine Interface (HMI) and strategies to ensure the user acceptability of ALFRED” (defined as a concept to humanise the CAV actions, which will result from the project), based on the quality of comfort, interaction and information.

Another partial result has been the definition of the use cases and the events for the future evaluation of the ALFRED concept (also available on website). Two types of use cases have been established: Situational use cases (to elicit specific emotions and composed of a short scenario where only one event) and Trip use cases (composed by a long scenario where several events occur).

Finally, consortium has advanced with the requirements of the V-HCD simulation platform that will be used for immersive experiments with subjects during next months.

All the planned actions in this period have been executed, the project is making good progress and successful results are expected by the consortium, which is composed by the IBV as coordinator, the Spanish companies IDIADA Automotive Technology, FICOSA ADAS andADVANCED AUTOMOTIVE ANTENNA; the Centro Ricerche FIAT; the University of Groningen; the Fondation Partenarial MOV’EOTEC, the French Transport Institute IFSTTAR, the Polytechnic Institute of Bordeaux and CIVITEC SARL; and the Technical University of Munich .

This project has been funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program under grant agreement No. 814999.

For more information of the project, see Follow us on Twitter @SUaaVE_project


4 new projects on the European Horizon of the autonomous driving

Under the Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme, the European Commission has recently funded 4 new projects focused on driver behaviour and acceptance of connected, cooperative and automated transport: Drive2TheFuture, PAsCAL, SUaaVE, Trustonomy.

These projects share some common topics to investigate on such as the assessment of public acceptance of autonomous driving; the analysis of the driver behaviour under different scenarios; the human/machine interconnections, and last – but absolutely not least – the investigation of ethical and legal issues associated with drivers of autonomous vehicles.

Lila Gaitanidou, CERTH/HIT, Drive2theFuture project coordinator, stresses out that “User should be in the core of designing and deploying connected and autonomous vehicles (CAVs). And this is valid for all means of transportation. There are different user categories addressed, from drivers and passengers, to related stakeholders and vulnerable road users, their needs and wants varying accordingly. Drive2theFuture, through its 12 pilots undertaken in 8 European countries and a series of design, modelling, training, awareness and dissemination activities, aims at actively involving all users in the process, towards a successful deployment of CAVs in Europe”.

Guillaume Gronier, LIST, PAsCAL project coordinator, explains that “Our aims is to create a “Guide2Autonomy” that will improve the understanding of the implications of connected and automated vehicles (CAVs) on society, educate future drivers and passengers and help decision makers navigate the transition to new forms of personal mobility resulting from the deployment of Connected and Autonomous Vehicles. It will not only focus on the interaction of the “users” in or near CAV, but also assess the impact of connected transport on people’s well-being, quality of life, and equity by using a strongly interdisciplinary mix of innovative tools from both human science and technology, to capture the public’s acceptance and attitude, analyse and assess their concerns, model and simulate realistic scenarios for hand-on practices, and validate the research innovation in a number of trials in the real world.”

The Instituto de Biomecánica (IBV) is leading the European project SUaaVE (SUpporting acceptance of automated vehicle) with the objective to improve the response and sensitivity of the autonomous vehicle, making it more aware of the occupants, pedestrians and other drivers needs. José Solaz, director of innovation in Automotive of the IBV, ensures that in this way “we will achieve a greater acceptance of the autonomous vehicle by solving the existing gap between technology and the real needs of citizens.”

Stefano Bianchi, Softeco, TRUSTONOMY project coordinator, thinks that “Building acceptance and trust in autonomous mobility is one of the keys to the success and actual implementation of the autonomous and connected vehicles. And this is what our project will be working on for the next three years, proposing a complete framework for the evaluation of technical solutions that constitute Autonomous Driving Systems (ADS).”

Drive2TheFuture, PAsCAL, SUaaVE and Trustonomy are ready to work together in the next years for pushing forward the autonomous driving! Stay tuned!


IBV leads a European project that will “humanize” the autonomous vehicles

The connected and autonomous vehicle already exists, but it is not fully accepted by users. Despite its advantages in terms of distraction related accidents reduction or the inclusion of people who need door-to-door transport, there is a reluctance to incorporate them on a day-to-day basis.

Indeed, social problems related to public acceptance, user awareness and ethics have become priority concerns for manufacturers and public administrations.

To address this problem, the Instituto de Biomecánica (IBV) is leading the European project SUaaVE (SUpporting acceptance of automated vehicle), funded by the Horizon 2020 program. The main objective of SUaaVE is to improve the response and sensitivity of the autonomous vehicle, making it more aware of the occupants, pedestrians and other drivers needs.

José Solaz, director of innovation in Automotive of the IBV, ensures that in this way “we will achieve a greater acceptance of the autonomous vehicle by solving the existing gap between technology and the real needs of citizens.”

This will be possible through close collaboration between companies, universities and technology centers, through a design process, known as people-oriented design (HDD) that will take into account the end user of the vehicle.

SUaaVE will solve this gap by improving the synergies of the social sciences, human factors research and the automobile market. “Placing the person in the center of technological development and not vice versa is key. I order to achieve it, we will carry out a continuous process of evaluation, collaborative design and creation of prototypes that will be tested by the future users” says the director of Automotive Market Innovation.

Participation of users and experts

More than 4,000 users of autonomous vehicles (passengers, traditional and future drivers, as well as vulnerable users) and more than 100 experts and interested entities will participate in the process.

The ten partners that, together with the IBV as coordinator, form the consortium are the Spanish companies IDIADA Automotive Technology and FICOSA ADAS; the FIAT Research Center in Italy; the University of Groningen (Holland); the MOV’EOTEC PARTNERSHIP Foundation, the French Transport Institute IFSTTAR, the Polytechnic Institute of Bordeaux and CIVITEC SARL in France; and the Technical University of Munich (Germany).

This project has been funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program under grant agreement No. 814999.


SUaaVE kick-off meeting

It was held at Instituto de Biomecánica (IBV) facilities in Valencia, and it was attended by all the partners and some of the linked third parties. During the first day, our Project Officer, Mr. Georgios Sarros, joined the meeting and gave us a useful overview of INEA’s expectations regarding the project and recommendations about the management of the project. And work package’s leaders presented the WP plans.

During the second day, we had an action plan development workshop, that allowed all partners be engaged in technical discussions for preparing next months’ work.

For the next three years we will work on enhancing public acceptance of highly automated CAVs by increasing trustworthiness.

We would like to grateful the Centre for the Development of Industrial Technology (CDTI) its help during the preparation of this amazing project.

SUaaVE project has received funding from the from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement Nº 814999


IBV attended the Transport Coordinators Workshop at INEA

We hosted more than 40 representatives of 26 new #H2020transport projects at INEA today.
Exciting to end the week with so much positive energy and exchange of ideas! Welcome on board!