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Wizards of WoZ: Using Controlled and Field Studies to Evaluate AV-pedestrian Interactions

AutoUI Workshop — September 22, 2019 — Utrecht, Netherlands

Interactions between autonomous vehicles (AV) and pedestrians remain an ongoing area of research within the AutoUI community and beyond. Given the challenge of conducting studies to understand and prototype these interactions, we propose a combined full-day workshop and tutorial on how to conduct field experiments and controlled experiments using Wizard-of-Oz (WoZ) protocols. We will discuss strengths and weaknesses of these approaches based on practical experiences and describe challenges we have faced. After diving into the intricacies of different experiment designs, we will encourage participants to engage in hands-on exercises that will explore new ways to answer future research questions. 



Following on last year's successful workshops on methodology for AV-pedestrian interaction and WoZ experiments, the goals of this full-day workshop are as follows:

  • Empower the AutoUI community to use and apply WoZ methods to their own research questions.
  • Underline the strengths and weaknesses of controlled and field studies using WoZ.
  • Understand how to effectively implement and conduct controlled and field experiments through hands-on prototyping activities.
  • Invite discussion on ongoing methodological challenges and issues we can seek to address as a community.
  • Engage the broader community to identify the most pressing research questions that can be potentially answered using these approaches.
  • Community build among researchers with similar interests and goals.
After the workshop, we hope the attendees gain greater confidence with being able to use various WoZ techniques such as Ghostdriver protocol in studies of eHMI and other questions around interactions between pedestrians and AVs.



We encourage participation from both researchers who have never done WoZ studies, as well as those who have experience with these methods and can share their experience. This combined tutorial and workshop is designed to introduce WoZ studies to novices (in the context of AV-pedestrian interaction, but broadly applicable to many different studies) as well as discuss the ongoing challenges with these methods with more experienced researchers.


Tentative Schedule

  • Welcome and introductions (30 minutes)
  • Tutorial: Wizard-of-Oz protocols, controlled and field experiments (60 minutes)
  • Coffee break (30 minutes)
  • Panel discussion with experts in the field (both workshop organizers and invited guests, TBA): Ongoing challenges in controlled and uncontrolled studies; active questions from attendees (60 minutes)
  • Lunch (60 minutes)
  • Introduction to hands-on activities: divide into small groups (30 minutes)
  • Hands on activities (2 hours)
    • Scenario planning: Identify possible design futures, future needs, and future studies
    • Study prototyping: Design a study using a full size vehicle and WoZ setup
    • Coffee break as people need while working
    • Prepare presentation of the study: What did we learn? What did we unlearn?
  • Wrap up: Next steps using WoZ in controlled and field studies (30 minutes)



  • Dylan Moore, Rebecca Currano, David Sirkin - Stanford University, USA
  • Azra Habibovic, Victor Malmsten Lundgren - RISE Research Institutes of Sweden
  • Debargha Dey - Eindhoven University of Technology, Netherlands
  • Kai Holländer - LMU Munich, Germany