Post-doc: Safe Automated Vehicle Interaction

Department/faculty: Mechanical, Maritime and Materials Engineering
Level: PhD degree
Working hours: 38 hours per week
Contract: 3 years
Salary: €3068 to €4028 per month gross

Mechanical, Maritime and Materials Engineering

The 3mE Faculty trains committed engineering students, PhD candidates and post-doctoral researchers in groundbreaking scientific research in the fields of mechanical, maritime and materials engineering. 3mE is the epitome of a dynamic, innovative faculty, with a European scope that contributes demonstrable economic and social benefits.

The TU Delft coordinates the Dutch Automated Vehicle Initiative (DAVI), which aims to investigate, improve and demonstrate automated driving on public roads, with national and international partners (, in collaboration with the TU Delft Robotics Institute ( and Transport Institute (

Job description

TU Delft is recruiting a post-doctoral researcher for the project “Safe interaction of automated vehicles with vulnerable road users” (SafeVRU).
SafeVRU will develop sensing, intent recognition, and vehicle control strategies for the interaction of automated vehicles with vulnerable road users (VRUs) such as pedestrians and cyclists. We will enhance VRU detection and classification by fusing vision and radar. Novel VRU intent recognition and path prediction methods will be developed using kinematics, gestures, visual focus and scene context. Taking into account the complex interaction with multiple VRUs, real time adaptive path planning strategies will be developed to minimise risk, with vehicle motion being intuitive and predictable for VRUs. The SafeVRU technologies will be validated using real world data, virtual reality labs and fully automated vehicles in the province of Gelderland (
The post-doctoral researcher will be responsible for path planning, interactive control and system integration.
The control strategies will optimise safety by communicating intentions of the AV to the VRU. These intentions will be made apparent from the vehicle motion, for instance, using early deceleration, communicating the intention to stop. In addition the AV will present visual and auditory cues to communicate its intentions.
Vehicle control strategies will combine rule-based, discrete decisions (e.g. stop or evade), path planning and continuous control, taking into account vehicle dynamics and road friction limitations. To address the challenging problem of controlling dynamical systems with logical constraints, we aim to employ a two-stage approach:
1. The general planning and logical decisions will be taken employing symbolic methods on a coarse dynamical model of the vehicle but sufficiently precise to return feasible trajectories.
2. A lower level of path planning based on optimal control approaches will then fine-tune the trajectories, employing a more detailed dynamical model.
Both of these levels of planning will encode in logical statements the safety and comfort rules (for the riders of the vehicle and the VRU).


Applicants preferably have (or will soon obtain) a PhD degree related to Computer Science, Mechanical/Electrical Engineering, or Applied Mathematics.
We are seeking a researcher with a strong interest in performing cutting-edge research in a very active and exciting research area (i.e. self-driving cars by Google, Apple and the automotive industry). Prospective applicants should have an excellent academic record with a solid background in path planning and control theory, preferably in an automotive context. Good software development skills are expected, preferably in C++ and MATLAB/Python. Affinity for turning complex concepts into real-world practice (i.e. vehicle demonstrators) is desired. The successful applicant(s) will be able to conduct work independently as well as collaborate effectively with members of a larger team. Good English skills are required.

Conditions of employment

The TU Delft offers a customisable compensation package, a discount for health insurance and sport memberships, and a monthly work costs contribution. Flexible work schedules can be arranged. An International Children’s Centre offers childcare and an international primary school. Dual Career Services offers support to accompanying partners. Salary and benefits are in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities.

Information and application

For more information about this position, please contact Riender Happee, phone: +31 (0)15-2783213, e-mail: To apply, please e-mail a detailed CV including your interest, experience, courses and grades at the Master and Bachelor level, publications, and references to be contacted. Please e-mail your application to and cc to
When applying for this position, please refer to vacancy number 3ME16-50 in the subject of your email.
The available position will be filled as soon as possible (i.e. once a suitable candidate is found).

Enquiries from agencies are not appreciated.


Mechanical, Maritime and Materials Engineering
PhD degree
Working hours
3 years
€3068 to €4028 per month gross

Closing date
July 1, 2017
Vacancy nr.


For more information about this job, please contact Riender Happee, Assistant Professor.

T +31 (0)15-2783213

For more information about the application procedure, please contact Nathalie van Benthem/HRM.