PhD position

Development of Human-Machine-Interaction (HMI) concepts for automated vehicles in a German-Japanese research collaboration

Starting date


Duration of contract

3 years


up to German TVöD 13

Type of employment


"Cutting-edge research requires excellent minds – particularly more females – at all levels. Launch your mission with us and send in your application now!" Prof. Pascale Ehrenfreund - Chair of the DLR Executive Board

Mobility has a high priority in our society. People want to reach their destination safely, comfortably and quickly. Goods must be transported cost-effectively over short and long distances. The consequences of mobility can be seen in environmental pollution, accidents and traffic jams, which increase with the ever-growing volume of traffic. These are the challenges we face at the Institute of Transportation Systems. We develop solutions for the safe and efficient mobility of the future.

Future vehicles will be increasingly automated through the development of complex software intelligence. Nevertheless, humans as users, operators or road users still play a central role in the traffic system. At the Institute of Transport Systems Engineering, we therefore research and develop new solutions for the interaction design between the humans and future vehicles in order to enable a safe, intuitive, understandable and user-friendly interaction for humans. 

For the expansion of our existing interdisciplinary team we are looking for a Master in Psychology, or Design with a focus on Human Factors research and/or Human-Machine-Interface (HMI) Design. As part of a German-Japanese research project, you will have the opportunity to explore and design interaction strategies of automated vehicles with surrounding road users and write your PhD in the project.

One of the main focuses of your scientific work would be research, development and implementation of interaction concepts for surrounding road users that are applicable for different vehicle types as well as the examination of cultural differences with regard to design aspects. For your research, DLR offers a wide range of research tools such as video simulations, virtual reality, driving simulators and test vehicles in order to develop suitable vehicle motion patterns as well as external HMI elements within the framework of an iterative, user-centered HMI development process. As part of the research and your PhD, you will be analyzing experimental data and presenting your research results to the research community at national and international conferences and through professional journal publications.

Your qualifications:

  • completed scientific university studies (master's degree) in Psychology with focus on human factors, traffic/engineering psychology, Industrial or HCI design or comparable
  • sound experience in scientific work as well as experience in the implementation and statistical evaluation of empirical user studies
  • experience in the development of HMI concepts, ideally in the automotive sector, as well as knowledge of the user-centric design process welcome
  • preferably extended knowledge of scientific publishing and experience in the presentation of research results at national and international conferences.
  • intercultural competence in dealing with international project Partners is desired
  • very good written and spoken knowledge of German and English
  • willingness to travel, especially to Japan
  • high motivation and willingness to perform
  • ability to work in a team and willingness to cooperate in interdisciplinary teams
  • driving license class B

Your benefits:

Look forward to a fulfilling job with an employer who appreciates your commitment and supports your personal and professional development. Our unique infrastructure offers you a working environment in which you have unparalled scope to develop your creative ideas and accomplish your professional objectives. Our human resources policy places great value on a healthy family and work-life-balance as well as equal opportunities for persons of all genders (m/f/non-binary). Individuals with disabilities will be given preferential consideration in the event their qualifications are equivalent to those of other candidates.

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Technical contact

Anna Schieben
Institute of Transportation Systems

Phone: +49 531 295-3426

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Vacancy 44066

HR department Braunschweig

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DLR site Braunschweig

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DLR Institute of Transportation Systems

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