Researcher Exploration of VR-based methods for comfortable use in automated vehicles – TU Delft – Delft

  • Delft

TU Delft

Job description

The potential discomfort and motion sickness experienced by passengers during automated journeys present a significant challenge to their widespread adoption. Envisioned automated vehicle (AV) designs and their driving behavior are anticipated to provoke motion sickness and discomfort, impeding passengers’ ability to enjoy their commute time. Despite substantial investments in AV technology, the importance of motion comfort has been largely overlooked.

The transition from driver to passenger in automated vehicles will enable individuals to engage in non-driving related tasks (NDRT), a crucial aspect for the successful integration of AVs into our daily lives. However, participation in NDRTs is expected to exacerbate motion sickness and discomfort. In this regard, Virtual Reality (VR) holds promise as a useful tool. Firstly, passengers will seek more entertainment options while being driven, and VR can cater to this demand. Moreover, VR offers the ability to fully manipulate visual inputs and the passenger’s environment, enabling immersion in a boundless virtual space. For instance, this could provide users with the equivalent of multiple computer monitors to work with, an otherwise unattainable feat within the confined space of a car.

With these considerations in mind, this project aims to investigate:

  • How should a VR environment be designed to mitigate motion sickness while passengers are being driven in automated vehicles and engaging in NDRTs?
  • What non-disruptive anticipatory cues can we provide to AV occupants through the VR environment to inform them about upcoming vehicle motion?
  • How cybersickness will be affected in the different methods?

By addressing these questions, we aim to explore the potential of VR to enhance passenger comfort and mitigate motion sickness in automated vehicles while being driven.

This works is part of the flagship EU project HiDrive ( focusing on the deployment of higher automation vehicles. The project will involve collaboration with our partners to shape our research questions and deliver our results. The researcher is expected to lead the project and deliver a journal publication, and present the projects work at high level conference.

At TU Delft, you will be supervised by Dr. Georgios Papaioannou (Intelligent Vehicles Section at Cognitive Robotics Department – The intelligent vehicles section consists of three groups (Machine Perception, Human Factors and Dynamics & Control). The groups collaborate together to Increase the safety, comfort and sustainability of transportation by means of automated driving. You will work be within the Human Factors group and collaborate with BSc, MSc, and PhD candidates in the involved research groups. The Human Factors’ PhD students cover a wide range of topics from understanding and modelling motion sickness in automated vehicles, human body modelling, countermeasures for motion sickness mitigations and others.

Opportunities for growing your career will be available, such as mentoring BSc/MSc Students, conference presentations, networking, and teaching.


The candidate shall hold a:

  • MSc (Junior Researcher) or PhD (Postdoc-researcher) in Mechanical Engineering, Biomechanical or any comparable studies by the start date of the position.
  • Strong scientific programming skills (Unity and Matlab)
  • Strong written and oral communication skills in English

The following aspects will help you stand out:

  • Experience in developing environments in virtual reality with unity.
  • Human factors background with experimental experience.
  • Control background will be highly appreciated.
  • Academic track record with publications in the relevant topics (for a PD)
  • The ability to act independently as well as to collaborate effectively with members of a larger team

Keep in mind that this describes the background we imagine would best fit the role. Even if you do not meet all of the requirements and feel that you are up for the task, we absolutely want to see your application!

Conditions of employment

Salary and benefits are in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities (based on scale 10: €3.226,00 – €5.090,00). Depending on your knowledge and experience, either as a junior researcher or postdoc, the corresponding step in scale 10 will be determined. Postdocs are positioned at a higher step within the scale compared to junior researchers. The TU Delft offers a customisable compensation package, discounts on health insurance, and a monthly work costs contribution. Flexible work schedules can be arranged.

This junior researcher/postdoc position has a fixed-term contract of 12 months. The position is open for 32-40 hours per week.

For international applicants, TU Delft has the . This service provides information for new international employees to help you prepare the relocation and to settle in the Netherlands. The Coming to Delft Service offers a for partners and they organise events to expand your (social) network.

TU Delft (Delft University of Technology)

Delft University of Technology is built on strong foundations. As creators of the world-famous Dutch waterworks and pioneers in biotech, TU Delft is a top international university combining science, engineering and design. It delivers world class results in education, research and innovation to address challenges in the areas of energy, climate, mobility, health and digital society. For generations, our engineers have proven to be entrepreneurial problem-solvers, both in business and in a social context.

At TU Delft we embrace diversity as one of our core    and we actively    to be a university where you feel at home and can flourish. We value different perspectives and qualities. We believe this makes our work more innovative, the TU Delft community more vibrant and the world more just. Together, we imagine, invent and create solutions using technology to have a positive impact on a global scale. That is why we invite you to apply. Your application will receive fair consideration.

Challenge. Change. Impact!

Faculty Mechanical Engineering

From chip to ship. From machine to human being. From idea to solution. Driven by a deep-rooted desire to understand our environment and discover its underlying mechanisms, research and education at the ME faculty focusses on fundamental understanding, design, production including application and product improvement, materials, processes and (mechanical) systems.

ME is a dynamic and innovative faculty with high-tech lab facilities and international reach. It’s a large faculty but also versatile, so we can often make unique connections by combining different disciplines. This is reflected in ME’s outstanding, state-of-the-art education, which trains students to become responsible and socially engaged engineers and scientists. We translate our knowledge and insights into solutions to societal issues, contributing to a sustainable society and to the development of prosperity and well-being. That is what unites us in pioneering research, inspiring education and (inter)national cooperation.

Click  to go to the website of the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering. Do you want to experience working at our faculty? These  will introduce you to some of our researchers and their work.

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