Netherlands: 2 PhD students Human Factors of Automated Driving at Delft University of Technology

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Job description

The project “Human Factors of Automated Driving” (HFAuto) will investigate driver behaviour and develop human-machine interfaces (HMIs) for highly automated driving. TU Delft is coordinating the project, and partners are Technische Universität München, University of Southampton, Chalmers University of Technology, University of Twente, IFSTTAR (France), VTI (Sweden), Volvo Car, Volvo Truck, BMW, Jaguar, Toyota, Continental, TNO, and SWOV.
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TU Delft is recruiting 2 PhD candidates.

PhD student 1 will quantify how drivers behave during transient manoeuvres under highly automated driving. You will investigate human behaviour during manoeuvres such as merging, splitting, platoon entry, platoon exit, and authority transitions between manual and automated driving. You will also investigate human responses to unexpected situations, such as sensor failure and computer failure. Furthermore, you will study how often drivers (dis)engage the system, as well as the willingness of participants to serve collective versus personal interests (e.g., creating a gap or not for another vehicle).

PhD student 2 will develop a human-machine interface for highly automated driving, focusing on the auditory modality. The auditory HMI shall improve drivers’ situation awareness, and shall intuitively inform and guide the driver during platooning and transient manoeuvres such as joining or leaving a platoon, lane changes, and merging.

The concepts will be evaluated by means of behavioural observations in a driving simulation context.


The requirements for both PhD positions are as follows:
1. You have a MSc degree in a quantitative discipline, and you have specialised in one of the following fields: automotive technology, mechatronics, human factors, ergonomics, human-computer interaction, or artificial intelligence.
2. You are in the first four years of your research career (measured from the date when you obtained the MSc degree).
3. You are able to fulfil transnational requirements (i.e., move from one country to another for 3 to 4 secondments of 2 to 3 months each, and for workshops).
4. You have not resided or carried out your main activity (work, studies) in the Netherlands for more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately prior to recruitment under the project.

Conditions of employment

TU Delft offers an attractive benefits package, including a flexible work week, free high-speed Internet access from home (with contracts of two years or longer), and the option of assembling a customised compensation and benefits package (the ‘IKA’). Salary and benefits are in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities.
As a PhD candidate you will be enrolled in the TU Delft Graduate School. TU Delft Graduate School provides an inspiring research environment; an excellent team of supervisors, academic staff and a mentor; and a Doctoral Education Programme aimed at developing your transferable, discipline-related and research skills. Please visit for more information.

For more information about this position, please contact Dr. Joost de Winter, phone: +31 (0)6-49871748, e-mail: Candidates are requested to send their CV including (a) grades list, (b) brief letter of application, and (c) scientific paper or thesis and Additionally, applicants should indicate whether they are eligible for Marie Curie ITN funding (diploma, transnational mobility requirement, and country of residence in 2010–2013). The deadline for applications is 13 December 2013.
When applying for this position, please refer to vacancy number 3ME13-36.

Contract type: Temporary, 4 years


Delft University of Technology

Delft University of Technology (TU Delft) is a multifaceted institution offering education and carrying out research in the technical sciences at an internationally recognised level. Education, research and design are strongly oriented towards applicability. TU Delft develops technologies for future generations, focusing on sustainability, safety and economic vitality. At TU Delft you will work in an environment where technical sciences and society converge. TU Delft comprises eight faculties, unique laboratories, research institutes and schools.


Mechanical, Maritime and Materials Engineering

Biomechanical Engineering is a research department at Delft University of Technology, located in the Faculty of Mechanical, Maritime and Materials Engineering (3ME). The Department of Biomechanical Engineering coordinates education and research activities in the field of mechanical engineering techniques, like modelling and design, to analyse the interaction between biological and technical systems.
The Automotive group in the Department of Biomechanical Engineering has the mission of enhancing road safety, road capacity, driving pleasure and comfort. The group’s research topics include automated driving, driver support, driver modelling, driver training and driver assessment.

Additional information

Joost de Winter
+31 (0)6-49871748

Technische Universiteit Delft

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