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Course paper / final thesis, Internship

Conducting an eye-tracking study in VR to analyze the decision-making process of pedestrians crossing a road

Starting date

18 october 2021

Duration of contract

6 - 12 months


400 € / month for compulsory internship

Type of employment


In the future, highly automated vehicles and human road users (car drivers, cyclists, pedestrians) will, in all likelihood, interact with each other in the traffic system. As a result of the great variability of human behavior, human-vehicle interaction is the greatest challenge on this path. Highly automated vehicles - just like human road users - must not only obey traffic rules, but also be able to flexibly predict human behavior in order to interact appropriately. This includes both the ability to understand the behavior of human road users and the ability to exhibit behavior that is clearly understood by human road users.

In order for these capabilities to be realized in highly automated vehicles, a comprehensive understanding of human decision-making and interaction behavior in current road traffic is required. In particular, the decision-making processes underlying the behavior can only be insufficiently quantified so far.

Therefore, the aim of this student project is to measure and model human decision processes in road traffic, e.g. when a pedestrian crosses a road. For this purpose, a VR study will be conducted in which, in addition to the pedestrian's reaction and decision-making behavior, his or her eye movements will also be measured as markers of cognitive processes by means of eye-tracking.

Your main tasks will include:

  • implementation, execution and evaluation of a VR study on the decision-making process of pedestrians when crossing a road
  • analysis of the eye-tracking data
  • modelling of behavioural data using drift-diffusion models

Your qualifications:

  • student in psychology, computer science, cognitive science, physics, engineering, or similar
  • strong interest in cognitive psychological issues related to the traffic system
  • initial experience in the design, implementation and analysis of empirical studies
  • good knowledge of data analysis using programming languages such as Python, Matlab or R
  • independent working style, frustration tolerance and intrinsic motivation
  • experience in the analysis of eye-tracking data (optional)
  • experience in developing VR scenarios using Unreal Engine (optional)

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 unparalleled 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 (f/m/x). 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

Max Theisen
Institute of Transportation Systems

Phone: +49 531 295-2453

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Vacancy 60113

HR department Braunschweig

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DLR site Braunschweig

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DLR Institute of Transportation Systems

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