Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Strawderman, Lesley

Committee Member

Smith, Brian

Committee Member

Carruth, Daniel W.

Committee Member

DuBien, Janice

Committee Member

Garrison, Teena Marie

Date of Degree


Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access


Industrial and Systems Engineering

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


James Worth Bagley College of Engineering


Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering


Fully Autonomous Vehicles (FAVs) have the potential to provide safer vehicle operation and to enhance the overall transportation system. However, drivers and vehicles are not the only components that need to be considered. Research has shown that pedestrians are among the most unpredictable and vulnerable road users. To achieve full and successful implementation of FAVs, it is essential to understand pedestrian acceptance and intended behavior regarding FAVs. Three studies were developed to address this need: (1) development of a standardized framework to investigate pedestrians’ behaviors for the U.S. population; (2) development of a framework to evaluate their receptivity of FAVs; and (3) investigation of the influence of the external interacting interfaces of FAVs on pedestrian receptivity toward them. The pedestrian behavior questionnaire (PBQ) categorized pedestrian general behaviors into five factors: violations, errors, lapses, aggressive behaviors, and positive behaviors. The first four factors were found to be both valid and reliable; the positive behavior scale was not found to be reliable nor valid. A long (36-item) and a short (20-items) versions of the PBQ were validated by regressing scenario-based survey responses to the fiveactor PBQ subscale scores. The pedestrian receptivity questionnaire for FAVs (PRQF) consisted of three subscales: safety, interaction, and compatibility. This factor structure was verified by a confirmatory factor analysis and the reliability of each subscale was confirmed. Regression analyses showed that pedestrians’ intention to cross the road in front of a FAV was significantly predicted by both safety and interaction scores, but not by the compatibility score. On the other hand, acceptance of FAVs in the existing traffic system was predicted by all three subscale scores. Finally, an experimental study was performed to expose pedestrians to a simulated environment where they could experience a FAV. The FAV in the simulated environment was either equipped with external features (audible and/or visual) or had no external (warning) feature. The least preferred options were the FAVs with no features and those with a smiley face but no audible cue. The most preferred interface option, which instilled confidence for crossing in front of the FAV, was the walking silhouette.



pedestrian-to-vehicle interaction||interface design||Pedestrian behavior