Marie Curie Project -phd Student in Virtual Safety Assessment of Automated Vehicles

Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden has an opening PhD position in artificial intelligence. The initial contract for this position is 5 years. This position is closed on August 15, 2019.

Information about the project

We are offering a position as a PhD student in the field of virtual simulation-based safety-assessment of automated vehicles in the cities of the future. This position is one of 15 PhD-students to be recruited across six universities in Europe to be part of a Marie Skodowska-Curie Action (MSCA) Innovative Training Network (ITN), funded by the European Commission.

This position is part of the Crash Analysis and Prevention (CAP) unit within the Vehicle Safety division (Department of Mechanics and Maritime Sciences). In the Vehicle Safety division and CAP, researchers conduct world-leading research on topics related to traffic safety. The mission of the unit is to understand why crashes happen and how they can be prevented. This includes understanding crash causation mechanisms related to the road-user behavior as well as (e.g., automated) vehicle and environment factors. We leverage on a deep understanding of these strategies to build effective driver support, active safety, and vehicle automation. We evaluate these strategies using conceptual and mathematical models developed with naturalistic and experimental data. The research group has strong ties to the Swedish automotive industry and participates in national and international projects (EU, US and Japan).

We teach courses in the master's program in Automotive Engineering at Chalmers University on both the technical and behavioral aspects of traffic safety, active safety systems, and vehicle automation. Student projects at the Master’s and Doctoral level are also conducted at CAP.

The overall goal of this 15 student PhD-project, called SHAPE-IT, is to enable rapid and reliable development of safe and user-centered automated vehicles (AVs) for urban environments. Vehicle automation has been identified as a game-changer in transport, promising substantial reductions in road-traffic fatalities while improving mobility. However, the processes to integrate automation in transport have been primarily technology-focused, with insufficient consideration given to how users both inside and outside of the AVs will interact with AVs.

The main objective of SHAPE-IT is to facilitate the safe, acceptable (and, ideally, desirable) integration of user-centered and transparent AVs into tomorrow's mixed urban traffic environments, using both existing and new research methods, designing advanced interfaces and control strategies.

The project aims to deliver a future generation of human factors researchers and engineers with an excellent multidisciplinary (cognitive and behavioral psychology, computer science, and engineering) education.

Specifically, this positions PhD-student will, based on previous research into safety assessment, develop, improve, and evaluate methods for virtual (simulation based) assessment of the crash risks associated with the combination of automated vehicles’ “drivers”, the AVs, and vulnerable road users (typically pedestrians and cyclists) interacting with the AVs. The work includes integrating mathematical models of human behavior from other students in the SHAPE-IT project and using and developing a Bayesian statistics framework to improve current assessment methods. The PhD-student will also compare the safety (crash risk) of AVs and manually-driven cars across different scenarios involving VRUs, taking into account VRU behavior variability.

Expected results include improvements of current virtual simulations methods, using a Bayesian framework and provide a better understanding of how different AV and VRU behaviors affect (simulated) crash risk.

The research will be conducted in close collaboration both with the other 14 PhD students in the SHAPE-IT project, and with senior researchers at Chalmers and the other universities involved in SHAPE-IT. The position includes 2-3 longer (1-3 months long) secondments/visits to both industry and other universities. During SHAPE-IT all 15 PhD candidates will join several project wide training activities, covering multiple aspects of the design and assessment of automated vehicles, including human factors and artificial intelligence, in the context of automated vehicles.

We strongly encourage female applicants to all of these multi-disciplinary research positions, where working together and sharing knowledge and experience across a diverse group of people is fundamental to reach the project goals to build a future of safe and trusted vehicle automation in cities.

Major responsibilities

Your major responsibilities as a PhD student is to pursue your own doctoral studies. You are expected to develop your own scientific concepts and communicate the results of your research verbally and in writing (primarily in English, but at the end of your studies, also at least orally in Swedish). Your research will be supervised by well-reputed senior researchers at the involved department. The PhD studies also includes a number of doctoral courses, reviewing literature, interacting with both industrial companies and other PhD-candidates and senior researchers in the SHAPE-IT project, as well as analysing empirical data, and modeling and using models of human behavior.

As part of SHAPE-IT you are expected to collaborate with other PhD-students in the project, and providing project level training for the other PhD-students on safety assessment methods.

The position generally also includes teaching on Chalmers’ undergraduate level or performing other departmental duties corresponding to up to 10 percent of working hours.

The position is a full-time temporary employment limited to a maximum of 4.5 years.


To qualify as a PhD student, you must have a master’s level degree corresponding to at least 240 higher education credits in a relevant field. The position requires sound verbal and written communication skills in English.

The applicants must, at the date of recruitment, be in the first four years (full-time equivalent research experience) of their research careers (counted from being awarded the MSc degree) and have not been awarded a doctoral degree.

A good applicant should like to work independently, and plan and think strategically. It is important to have an interest in human behavior and simulations, and be able to understand and handle statistical methods (e.g., Bayesian inference) and analyze data quickly and correctly. The ability to colaborate is essential and you like to work in interdisciplinary projects and have the ability to discuss and communicate the work with people of different backgrounds. You are a motivated person, with a genuine wish to learn more across a wide varietly of fields, including traffic psychology, human factors, software engineering, and arificial intelligence, to develop your skills and knowledge.Practical programming skills is a necessity. A background in automotive engineering and, specifically safety assessment, is meritorious.

Chalmers offers a cultivating and inspiring working environment in the dynamic city ofGothenburg.

Read more aboutworking at Chalmersand ourbenefitsfor employees.

Application procedure

The application should be marked with Ref 20190379 and written in English.

CV: (Please name the document: CV, Family name, Ref. number)


Other, for example previous employments or leadership qualifications and positions of trust.

Two references that we can contact.

Personal letter: (Please name the document as: Personal letter, Family name, Ref. number)

- Introduce yourself

- Describe your previous research fields and main research results

- Describe your future goals and future research focus

- Highlight your relevant experience for this particular position, and your motivation for applying

Copies of bachelor and/or master's thesis.

Attested copies and transcripts of completed education, grades and other certificates, eg. TOEFL test results.

Application deadline: 15 August 2019

Marco Dozza,

Jonas Brgman,

Deadline: August 15, 2019
Apply Link:

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