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Remote driving as the Failsafe: Qualitative investigation of Users’ perceptions and requirements towards the 5G-enabled Level 4 automated vehicles

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Shuo LiORCiD, Dr Yanghanzi ZhangORCiD, Simon Edwards



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).


AbstractThe Level 4 Automated Vehicles (L4 AV) potentially deliver social, economic, safety and environmental benefits. A key feature for the L4 AV is the failsafe mechanism which ensures the safety of the vehicle without human driver input when reaching system limitations. An important solution for the failsafe is the 5G-enabled teleoperation system controlled by a remote driver. However, understanding end-users’ perception, needs and requirements towards the L4 AV is a significant under-researched area. To fill the research gap, this study conducted semi-structured interviews with 29 potential end-users to qualitatively explore the new driver-automation-remote driver interaction in the L4 AV. Results showed that end-users would like to understand how the remote driver operates the vehicle remotely and would not expect them to be multitasking or distracted. They also show that remote drivers’ sensing and information about the driving environment are important. Remote drivers should also be qualified and experienced drivers and must have undergone background security checks before teleoperating the L4 AV. They require remote drivers based in the same country as the L4 AV to prevent issues such as unfamiliar road layouts, different traffic rules, cultural driving style variations, liability concerns, and time differences from affecting performance. They require the remote drivers to clarify what had happened and explain how they will deal with the situation and operate the vehicle in the situation of failsafe in the L4 AV. Dedicated remote drivers are preferred over random ones. A review and feedback system is important for the end-users to evaluate the services and choose preferred remote drivers. Finally, end-users are concerned about the liability and legal implications of utilising a L4 AV, especially during the period that the L4 AV is being operated by the remote drivers.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Li S, Zhang Y, Blyth P, Edwards S, Ji Y

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Transportation Research Part F Traffic Psychology and Behaviour

Year: 2024

Volume: 100

Pages: 211-230

Print publication date: 01/01/2024

Online publication date: 05/12/2023

Acceptance date: 28/11/2023

Date deposited: 08/12/2023

ISSN (print): 1369-8478

ISSN (electronic): 1873-5517

Publisher: Elsevier Ltd


DOI: 10.1016/j.trf.2023.11.018


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Funder referenceFunder name
UK Centre for Connected and Autonomous Vehicles (CCAV) and Innovate UK V-CAL project
UK Centre for Connected and Autonomous Vehicles (CCAV) and Innovate UK SAMS project
UK Department for the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) 5G-Enabled Connected and Automated Logistics (CAL) project