Automation is increasingly gaining traction not only for individual but public transportation, especially in the last-mile sector. With no human driver at the helm, there is a need for adequate interaction replacements for passenger- and roadside information – not only as the bus is already in transit but before and during boarding as well. This workshop is intended to address these needs by exploring this design space in a hands- on setting. The expected outcome of the workshop is a set of interaction scenarios, design concepts and future challenges. These should serve as a basis for ongoing research and development for the field.

The overall objective of this workshop is to discuss the various requirements, opportunities, challenges and impact of novel concepts for interaction with and within (semi-)autonomous public transport vehicles. In accordance with this overall goal, this workshop will address the following goals:

  • Reflect on challenges of user interfaces for autonomous public transport vehicles and discuss ways to address them
  • Enable an exchange of ideas and networking to produce promising ways to foster user interaction for public transport vehicles
  • Provide a systematic overview of the hitherto cluttered field of public transport vehicle user interfaces


In detail, the workshop will address and discuss the following research areas:

Awareness and Intent Communication

In a fully automated setting, a driver is no longer available as the (human) point of reference we are used to in today’s predominantly manual to semiautomated public transportation. This constitutes a considerable change in how we interact with and experience the public transportation systems of the near and far future.

Capacity Management and Service Provision

Capacity and flexibility of public transportation both in urban and rural regions could be considerably increased with driverless buses operating at the “last mile". Ensuring sufficient seating in these relatively small vehicles with high turnover times, due to the distances traveled, will be a nontrivial challenge.

Supportive Infrastructure and Integrative Services

Prior relevant research regarding traditional public transport, for example, investigated the design of bus stops enriched by interactive technology to improve the passengers’ experiences and engagement with traditional public transport. So far, the impact of upcoming automated public transport vehicles on such trends and developments is unclear.


The workshop is planned as a half-day event and is structured around the following agenda points:

1. Ignition (20 min)

The workshop starts with a short introduction by the organisers and an invited talk, to set the scene for attacking the future challenges of (semi-) autonomos public transport vehicles.

2. Creative Thinking (120 min, including a break)

The session is allocated for working on promising approaches for a particular challenge. Based on a list of challenges prepared by the workshop organizers and own ideas of workshop participants, participants discuss about challenges and add additional ones. Depending on the final number of participants, the workshop will be divided into smaller teams that each work on a challenge.

3. Presentation of Solutions (30 min)

The participants gather in the plenum and discuss their solution approaches to the workshop audience.

4. Consolidation (70 min, incl. a break)

The workshop participants consolidate both the challenges and the related ideas and solutions. The focus will be on the consideration of ongoing and future research projects and their challenges.


PETER FRÖHLICH is a Senior Scientist at the Austrian Institute of Technology (AIT), Center for Technology Experience, dealing with user experience of ubiquitous computing applications. Currently, he explores novel communication methods between autonomous busses, passengers and other road users, together with public transport operators.

ALEXANDER MIRNIG is a Research Fellow at the Center for Human-Computer Interaction at the University of Salzburg, Austria. He earned a Master’s degree in Analytic Philosophy. His current research focuses on human factors in automated public transportation, control transitions in semi-automated vehicles, and Machine Ethics.

MATTHIAS BALDAUF is a Senior Researcher and Lecturer at the University of Applied Sciences St.Gallen. He holds a PhD in Computer Science from the Technical University of Vienna. His research fields are Pervasive Computing and Human-Computer Interaction with a focus on voice assistants and multi-display environments.


In case you have questions regarding the workshop, feel free to contact Peter.