MassRobotics recently hosted the second Socially Aware Autonomous Mobility (SAAM) consortium (November 10, 2022) with more than 25 participants from around the globe. SAAM is spearheaded by Paul Schmitt, the MassRobotics Automated Vehicles Director. Paul is also the Motion Planning Architect, Expressive Robotics Research Manager at Motional.

SAAM’s mission is to connect industry, academia, and public policy to share perspectives and updates on Community and Human Robot Interaction challenges. Additionally SAAM advances ideas that improve awareness of issues and the community experience of automated mobility.

SAAM functions at a global level with current members from Europe, Canada and from across the U.S.

The guest speaker was Prof. Jonas Bärgman, Chalmers University of Technology, who is the Safety Evaluation Lead Researcher of the Vehicle Safety Division.  Jonas gave an enlightening talk on the topic of “SHAPE-IT: Overview, Scope, Status, and Trends”.  SHAPE-IT represents some of the most extensive and advanced thinking on human and Autonomous Vehicle interactions.   

Several topics were touched upon during this initial gathering including: 

  • Demonstrating safety of sidewalk delivery robots.  Importance of public perception of safety, and how it affects local government and policy.   
  • Standards in mining and agriculture automation that address human-automation system interaction.   
  • SHAPE-IT Research areas:
    • Cyclists preferences for AV interactions
    • Requirements for human factors in AV development.
    • Pleasant and acceptable AV kinematic cues.
    • Vehicle pedestrian models
    • Evaluating AV driving styles 
    • Pedestrian behavior change after repeated exposure to AVs
  • Differences in AV technology development mindset: EU vs. US
  • Europe vs. U.S. approach to research objectives and scoping/awarding research.
  • SAAM will soon be publishing an Open Source Database list that includes comments from prior research users.

SAAM is now voting on future topics of interest which include the following:  

  • Standard Development Workshop
  • Toronto and Seattle Town Council Mobile Robot Ban
  • Singapore AV/Pedestrian Interface Regulations Overview
  • Interactions between first responders and AVs
  • Cross cultural implications for AVs
  • Automated vehicle behaviors and how they are perceived

SAAM is meeting quarterly and focuses on particular topics of interest.

Please email if you are interested in joining future meetings.