Dr Ruth Madigan

Dr Ruth Madigan


My main research interests focus on investigating the Human Factors issues associated with automated vehicles. I have a background in applied psychological research, and completed my PhD on driver training and hazard handling at University College Cork in 2014. I joined ITS in 2016, and have since worked on four EU projects investigating road user interactions with automated vehicle systems - AdaptIVe, CityMobil2, interACT, and L3Pilot; along with conducting DfT-funded research into the use of head-mounted displays for driver training. 

Research interests

My research centres on two main areas. Firstly, I am interested in studying the interactions between drivers, external road users, and automated vehicles, using a variety of methods such as experimental studies, questionnaire data, and qualitative video analysis techniques. In particular, I wish to understand how road users interpret and react to automated vehicle movement and communication patterns. Secondly, I am interested in understanding the learning and training requirements associated with driving in general, along with understanding the learning requirements for driver interactions with auotmated systems. In both streams of research, my focus is on the use of psychological concepts and theories to further our understanidng of human behaviour in the road environment. 

For a full list of publications, see also https://scholar.google.com/citations?hl=en&user=7ThV8CAAAAAJ

Research Projects and Expertise

  • L3Pilot, EU H2020 Research and Innovation Action, 2017-2021, Co-investigator, evaluating the factors affecting acceptance of automated vehicles, exploring driver reactions to automated vehicle systems through questionnaire and experiment data.  
  • interACT (Designing cooperative interaction of automated vehicles with other road users in mixed traffic environments), EU 2020 Research and Innovation Action, 2017-2020. Co-Investigator, exploring pedestrian-vehicle and vehicle-vehicle traffic interactions through field and video-based observations of current roadway interactions; development of simulator and test-track studies to explore pedestrian responses to AV movement patterns and external HMIs.
  • Driver Training, UK Department for Transport Innovation Challenge Fund, 2017-2018. Principal Investigator, exploring the use of a head mounted display for the delivery of driver training. 
  • CityMobil2, EC Seventh Framework Programme, 2012-2016. Co-Investigator, exploring road user responses to automated bus demonstrations in three European cities, through video and questionnaire data.
  • AdaptIVe, EC Seventh Framework Programme, 2014-2017. Co-Investigator, developing simulator experiments to explore driver take-over reactions in critical and non-critical driving scenarios.
<h4>Research projects</h4> <p>Any research projects I'm currently working on will be listed below. Our list of all <a href="https://environment.leeds.ac.uk/dir/research-projects">research projects</a> allows you to view and search the full list of projects in the faculty.</p>


  • PhD in Applied Psychology, University College Cork, Ireland
  • MSc in Occupational Psychology, University of Sheffield
  • BA in Applied Psychology, University College Cork

Research groups and institutes

  • Human Factors and Safety