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Study of the human-vehicle interactions by a high-end dynamic driving simulator


   Department of Mechanical Engineering

   Applications accepted all year round  Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

Context of the research activity

Motivations and objectives of the research in this field:

Vehicle electrification and autonomous driving require extensive testing for human-vehicle interfaces and human acceptance. The reduction of testing time and costs of ADAS and autonomous driving systems is of great importance for the automotive industry. Driving simulators are a viable solution for time to market and costs reduction. However, several issues related to driver simulators validity and applicability are still open. Simulator sickness and involvement of the driver in the simulation (immersivity) have also to be considered to obtain reliable experimental outputs. The research aims to study the human perceptions and interactions with a vehicle through the use of a dynamic driving simulator with respect to the following aspects. - Autonomous driving acceptance - Human - autonomous vehicle interactions - Traffic control algorithms and artificial intelligence for mixed traffic conditions, i.e. autonomous and human driven vehicles coexistence - Human reaction to vehicle disturbances, and human-vehicle system stability. - Noise, vibration and harshness reproduction for realistic dynamic driving simulators experience and immersivity In the research program, collaborations with psychometric experts are envisaged to broaden the understanding of the human factor.

Methods and techniques that will be developed and used to carry out the research:

The study of driver-vehicle interactions is particularly complex as it involves the understanding of the human behaviour. Vehicle mathematical modelling, hardware and software in the loop simulations, signal acquisition and processing are employed for the study of the mechanical system. Biometric signals analyses such as eye tracking, EEG, ECG, skin conductivity, will be studied and applied to define human behaviour, driver simulator sickness, validity and acceptance and human machine interfaces.

Educational objectives:

The Ph.D. candidate will be trained on advanced vehicle simulation techniques with particular references to human and hardware in the loop. The high end driving simulator available at Politecnico di Milano (https://www.drismi.polimi.it/) will provide the opportunity for planning and realizing multi-disciplinary research projects and tests. The candidate will learn how to deal with complex design problems, how to define specific KPIs and to properly evaluate them after testing. He/she will learn to manage research as well as to coordinate small research groups. Soft skills like dissemination, communication and outreach management will be taught during the PhD course.

Job opportunities:

That are cooperating in the research Structures/organizations aimed at innovation and/or research and technical development, high-tech SMEs, car makers, Tier 1 suppliers. The last survey on MeccPhD Doctorates highlighted a 100% employment rate within the first year and a 35% higher salary, compared to Master of Science holders in the same field.

Additional support:

Financial aid is available for all PhD candidates (purchase of study books and materials, funding for participation in courses, summer schools, workshops and conferences):

  • 2nd year: 1.534 euro
  • 3rd year: 1.534 euro

Accommodation in Politecnico's Residences (http://www.residenze.polimi.it) is available for PhD candidates; special rates will be applied to selected out-of-town candidates (detailed info in the call for application). The candidate is strongly encouraged to spend a research period abroad, joining high-level research groups in the specific PhD research topic, selected in agreement with the Supervisor. An increase in the scholarship will be applied for periods up to 6 months (approx. 550 euro/month- net amount).

Teaching assistantship: availability of funding in recognition of supporting teaching activities by the PhD candidate. There are various forms of financial aid for activities of support to the teaching practice. The PhD student is encouraged to take part in these activities, within the limits allowed by the regulations.

Scholarships and Financial support:

Monthly net income of PhD scholarship (max 36 months) € 1.325 (In case of a change of the welfare rates during the three-year period, the amount could be slightly modified.


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