Research & Innovation - Participant Portal


TOPIC : Human centred design for the new driver role in highly automated vehicles

Topic identifier: DT-ART-03-2019
Publication date: 27 October 2017
Focus area: Digitising and transforming European industry and services (DT)

Types of action: RIA Research and Innovation action
Opening date:
04 December 2018
Deadline: 25 April 2019 17:00:00

Time Zone : (Brussels time)
  Horizon 2020 H2020 website
Pillar: Societal Challenges
Work Programme Year: H2020-2018-2020
Topic Updates
  • 25 July 2018 00:00

    Please note that the description of topic DT-ART-03-2019 has been updated further to the revised version of the H2020 Work Programme that has been published on 25 July 2018. 

Topic Description
Specific Challenge:

Significant research efforts are addressing driver performance and behaviour in automated driving conditions still requiring the driver to be prepared to assume control (SAE automation level 3 and lower). In highly automated driving conditions (SAE automation level 4) the role of the driver will change dramatically since driver intervention is not required during defined use cases. This means that during a single trip there will be a coexistence of different automated driving functions demanding various degrees of human attention. When a vehicle is in highly automated driving mode the driver may take on different behaviours. Solutions need to be developed and they have to ensure both a safe transfer between use cases with different automation levels and that drivers always have a very clear understanding about the degree of automation enabled in each situation.


Proposals for research and innovation should focus on the design of safe human-machine interfaces for vehicles with highly automated driving functions and the safe and controlled transfer between use cases of different SAE automation levels (between level 4 to/from levels 3 or 2) for all types of drivers.

The proposed actions should include all of the following aspects:

  • Research to characterise driver roles in use cases of SAE automation level 4 and for the transition between these and lower automation levels. Upgrade of comprehensive models for driver behaviour/reaction, awareness, readiness and monitoring. Driver generational effects, considering in particular variations in IT usage experience and age, but also other cultural factors should be taken into account.
  • Effectiveness assessment methods, especially for safety aspects, based on these models. The new relationship between driver and vehicle (mutual cooperation or even handover rather than continuous control) should be reflected, also considering the variety of activities a driver may engage in while the vehicle is in charge. Use cases where an operator controls the vehicle remotely may be included.
  • Develop easily understood solutions making it clear to the driver what is the operational capability (authority) of the automated mode or modes currently enabled, as well as ensuring safe and reliable function (re-)allocation and corresponding driver/operator readiness. Driver control handover, driver/operator state and impairment are among the aspects that should be considered and the intended driver reaction should be secured.
  • Demonstration of concept functionality in real world situations with various use cases and driving environments where automated systems receive and give back control from/to the driver.

Proposed actions should build on the knowledge and results of ongoing projects addressing human machine interactions of automated driving systems.

In line with the Union's strategy for international cooperation in research and innovation, international cooperation is encouraged. In particular, proposals should consider cooperation with projects or partners from the US, Japan, South Korea, Singapore, and/or Australia. Proposals should foresee twinning with entities participating in projects funded by US DOT to exchange knowledge and experience and exploit synergies. Twinning with Japan is also encouraged.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU between EUR 4 to 8 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Expected Impact:
  • Innovative solutions, concepts and algorithms for a safe human-machine interface of highly automated driving functions and for safe and controlled transfer between use cases of different automation levels.
  • Reduction of risks for driver behaviour related incidents by ensuring that drivers/operators are adequately alerted, made aware and engaged when the highly automated vehicle encounters situations or use cases that it cannot handle and thus will turn to lower automation levels.
  • The research will help achieve the European Transport White Paper "Vision Zero" objective by preventing road accidents caused by human errors. Once on the market the developed concepts and solutions will also contribute to Sustainable Development Goal 3 (Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages; in particular goal 3.6. "By 2020, halve the number of global deaths and injuries from road traffic accidents").
Cross-cutting Priorities:

Socio-economic science and humanities
International cooperation

Topic conditions and documents

1. Eligible countries: described in Annex A of the Work Programme.
A number of non-EU/non-Associated Countries that are not automatically eligible for funding have made specific provisions for making funding available for their participants in Horizon 2020 projects. See the information in the Online Manual.


2. Eligibility and admissibility conditions: described in Annex B and Annex C of the Work Programme.


Proposal page limits and layout: please refer to Part B of the proposal template in the submission system below.


3. Evaluation:

  • Evaluation criteria, scoring and thresholds are described in Annex H of the Work Programme. 
  • Submission and evaluation processes are described in the Online Manual.

4. Indicative time for evaluation and grant agreements:

Information on the outcome of evaluation (single-stage call): maximum 5 months from the deadline for submission.
Signature of grant agreements: maximum 8 months from the deadline for submission.



5. Proposal templates, evaluation forms and model grant agreements (MGA):

Research and Innovation Action:

Specific provisions and funding rates
Standard proposal template
Standard evaluation form
General MGA - Multi-Beneficiary
Annotated Grant Agreement


6. Additional provisions:

Horizon 2020 budget flexibility
Classified information
Technology readiness levels (TRL) – where a topic description refers to TRL, these definitions apply

Members of consortium are required to conclude a consortium agreement, in principle prior to the signature of the grant agreement.

8. Additional documents:

1. Introduction WP 2018-20
11. Smart, green and integrated transport WP 2018-20
18. Dissemination, Exploitation and Evaluation WP 2018-20

General annexes to the Work Programme 2018-2020

Legal basis: Horizon 2020 Regulation of Establishment
Legal basis: Horizon 2020 Rules for Participation
Legal basis: Horizon 2020 Specific Programme


7. Open access must be granted to all scientific publications resulting from Horizon 2020 actions.

Where relevant, proposals should also provide information on how the participants will manage the research data generated and/or collected during the project, such as details on what types of data the project will generate, whether and how this data will be exploited or made accessible for verification and re-use, and how it will be curated and preserved.

Open access to research data
The Open Research Data Pilot has been extended to cover all Horizon 2020 topics for which the submission is opened on 26 July 2016 or later. Projects funded under this topic will therefore by default provide open access to the research data they generate, except if they decide to opt-out under the conditions described in Annex L of the Work Programme. Projects can opt-out at any stage, that is both before and after the grant signature.

Note that the evaluation phase proposals will not be evaluated more favourably because they plan to open or share their data, and will not be penalised for opting out.

Open research data sharing applies to the data needed to validate the results presented in scientific publications. Additionally, projects can choose to make other data available open access and need to describe their approach in a Data Management Plan.

Projects need to create a Data Management Plan (DMP), except if they opt-out of making their research data open access. A first version of the DMP must be provided as an early deliverable within six months of the project and should be updated during the project as appropriate. The Commission already provides guidance documents, including a template for DMPs. See the Online Manual.

Eligibility of costs: costs related to data management and data sharing are eligible for reimbursement during the project duration.

The legal requirements for projects participating in this pilot are in the article 29.3 of the Model Grant Agreement.


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To access existing draft proposals for this topic, please login to the Participant Portal and select the My Proposals page of the My Area section.

Type of Action Research and Innovation action [RIA]
Topic Human centred design for the new driver role in highly automated vehicles - DT-ART-03-2019
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