Professor Natasha Merat

Professor Natasha Merat


Visiting Positions and Professional Engagements

  • Advisory board member: AutoLiv Inc.
  • Steering Group member Centre for Connected and Automated Vehicles, DfT
  • Adjunct Professor, Public Policy Centre, University of Iowa
  • Visiting Fellow, Mobile Robotics Group, University of Oxford
  • Director: Transport Systems Hub, University of Leeds, 2011-2015
  • WG member: EC iMobility group on Highly Automated Driving, 2012-present
  • Guest Editor, Special section of Transportation Research Part F., on Vehicle automation and driver behaviour
  • Guest Editor: Special issue of Human Factors on Automation in Vehicles, 2012
  • Elected Director of the Executive Council, Human Factors and Ergonomics Society, Europe Chapter, 2011 to date
  • Member of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society, Europe Chapter (2005 to date)
  • Working Party Member of Parliamentary Advisory Council for Transport Safety (2003 to date)
  • Member of the British Psychological Society (2000 to date)
  • Treasurer, Cognitive Section, British Psychological Society (2000-2004)

Employment History

  • 2013-2016, Associate Professor
  • 2004-2013, Senior Research Fellow, ITS, University of Leeds
  • 2002-2004, Research Fellow, ITS, University of Leeds
  • 1999-2002, Research Fellow, Department of Psychology, University of Surrey
  • 1998-1999, Research Fellow, Cognitive Neuroscience Group, Unilever Research

Research Projects and Experience

  • PedSim (EPSRC ITS CoI, 2017-2020)
  • L3Pilot (EC, ITS PI, 2017-2021)
  • HumanDrive (IUK, ITS PI, 2017-2020)
  • TRANSITION (EPSRC, ITS CoI, 2017-2020)
  • interACT (EC, ITS PI, 2017-2020)
  • CARTRE (EC, ITS CoI, 2016-2018)
  • VRA: Vehicle Road Automation (EC, ITS PI - 2013-2017)
  • AdaptIVe (EC, ITS PI, 2014-2017)
  • FORWARN: towards an intelligent forward collision warning system (PI, 2012-2016, EPSRC)
  • CityMobil2 (EC, ITS PI, 2012-2016)
  • Transport Research Knowledge Centre (EC, PI, 2009-2010)
  • Low-cost innovative engineering measures to reduce fatigue-related accidents (PI, 2007-2009, Highways Agency)
  • CityMobil (EC, PM, 2006-2011)
  • EASY: Effects of Automated Systems on Safety (EPSRC, CoI, 2006-2009)
  • AIDE: Adaptive Integrated Driver-Vehicle Interface (EC, PM, 2004-2008)
  • HASTE: HMI And the Safety of Traffic in Europe (EC, PM, 2002-2005)

For a list of my publications see also Google scholar:

Past teaching includes lectures on Theories of Attention to 3rd year undergraduate students in the Faculty of Biological Sciences.

I also supervise ITS Masters student dissertations on a variety of topics involving driver behaviour.  Examples of past topics inlcude:

  • Acceptability of Intelligent Speed Adaptation for Young Drivers
  • Is the driving test related to real world driving?
  • Does personality influence engagement in mobile phone tasks?
  • Using video recordings to analyse conflicts bewteen drivers, cyclists and pedestrians

Past and Present PhD Students

  • George Kountoriotis (Graduated 2012), co supervised with Richard Wilkie from the School of Psychology, Thesis title: 'Gaze direction and visual information when steering'. 
  • Nick Herbert (Graduated 2016) co supervised by Nick Thyer from the School of Healthcare in Leeds. Title of Thesis: Hearing Impairment and Driving Performance
  • Tyron Louw (Graduated 2017). Thesis Title: Human Factors of Transitions in Highly Automated Driving, as part of the AdaptIVe projectPanagiotis Spyridakos, co supervised by Gustav Markkula, Human Machine Interface (HMI) evaluation in driving - effect of HMI tasks on safety and performance of the driver.
  • Anderson Etika is sponsored by the Nigerian Government and is studying speed choice in Nigerian fleet drivers
  • Yvonne Taylor co supervised by Samantha Jamson from ITS. Yvonne is a full-time police officer and a part-time student who will be studying fatigue and work related accidents.


  • Research Group Leader
  • Human Factors and Safety Group

Research interests

  • Human factors of highly automated driving
  • HMI design
  • Driver behaviour, especially driver distraction and the influence of new technologies in driving
  • Driver fatigue
  • Older drivers and technology
  • Train driver distraction and workload
  • Psychophysiological measures of driver behaviour
  • Multisensory integration, especially crossmodal links between audition, vision and touch.
<h4>Research projects</h4> <p>Any research projects I'm currently working on will be listed below. Our list of all <a href="">research projects</a> allows you to view and search the full list of projects in the faculty.</p>


  • PhD, Psychology, University of Leeds
  • BSc (Hons), Physiology, University of Leeds

Research groups and institutes

  • Human Factors and Safety

Current postgraduate researchers

<h4>Postgraduate research opportunities</h4> <p>We welcome enquiries from motivated and qualified applicants from all around the world who are interested in PhD study. Our <a href="">research opportunities</a> allow you to search for projects and scholarships.</p>
    <li><a href="//">PhD studentship sponsored by Nissan: Cognitive models of human traffic interaction for real-time behaviour interpretation</a></li>