Research Fellow in Cognitive/Machine-Learned Models of Human Interaction with Automated Vehicles

Leeds, United Kingdom
£33,797 to £40,322 p.a.
Tuesday, 5 November 2019
End of advertisement period
Friday, 29 November 2019
Contract Type
Fixed Term
Full Time

Do you have a strong skillset in mathematics, programming, and machine learning, ideally combined with experience in cognitive science, psychology, or human factors? Are you interested in combining machine-learned, data-driven models of human behaviour with models from cognitive neuroscience, to help make automated vehicles safe and acceptable for humans? 

When humans move in road traffic as pedestrians, cyclists, drivers, etc., they constantly interact with each other to share the road space, showcasing a fascinating subset of the human abilities of perception, communication, and joint action. Useful mathematical models exist that can describe these human abilities in simplified cognitive science experiments, but these models are rarely integrated to study more complex real-world tasks. Meanwhile, the currently limited scientific understanding and models of how humans interact in traffic is proving a significant hurdle to progress in industry efforts towards self-driving vehicles. Machine-learned models of human road user behaviour constitute an increasingly important applied tool, but their behaviour needs to be better understood and benchmarked.

As Research Fellow in Cognitive/Machine-Learned Models of Human Interaction with Automated Vehicles, you will work in this exciting intersection between basic and applied sciences, leveraging large datasets of naturalistic data, state of the art machine learning methods, as well as models from cognitive science, to understand and model road user interactions. The models you develop will constitute scientific contributions of high importance both from the fundamental perspective of modelling human cognition, and in terms of their industrial and societal relevance. 

You will work in the EPSRC-funded project COMMOTIONS, supported by industrial partners FiveAI and Aimsun, and led by Dr. Gustav Markkula. At the Institute for Transport Studies, you will be joining the Human Factors & Safety Group, a cross-disciplinary, collegial research group with world-leading facilities for the experimental study of road user behaviour. Co-Investigators for the project are Dr. Jac Billington of the School of Psychology and Dr. Matteo Leonetti of the School of Computing.

To explore the post further or for any queries you may have, please contact: 

Dr. Gustav Markkula, Associate Professor

Tel: +44 (0)113 343 9832, email:

Location:     Leeds - Main Campus
Faculty/Service:     Faculty of Environment
School/Institute:     Institute for Transport Studies
Category:     Research
Grade:     Grade 7
Salary:     £33,797 to £40,322 p.a.
Due to funding limitations an appointment is unlikely to be made above £36,914 p.a.
Working Time:     We will consider job share / flexible working arrangements
Post Type:     Full Time
Contract Type:     Fixed Term (Fixed-term for 42 months due to external funding)
Closing Date:     Friday 29 November 2019
Downloads:     Candidate Brief

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